I dedicate this book to my passion for dance and  those that have supported my love from the                very beginning...
Dancing Stories       3
Table of ContentsClass #1: Namaskar                                           Page 2Class #2: Telling a Story             ...
Indian Dance is a broad category of dance that     incorporates many different styles and   characteristics. While it is o...
Class #1: Namaskar5…     6…            7…                     8…               Right Hand, Right Foot                  Lef...
Dancing is an art of the god, Natraj—His gift to theworld. Before every dance, we give our respect to thestage we dance on...
Class #2: Telling a StoryWhen we dance, we tell a story. Our movement  embodies the words of the songs we perform.Through ...
In dance, we use what we have. In dance, we   speak to the audience. In dance, we share something with our audience that w...
Class #3: From 10 Fingers to Thousands of               Gestures: Mudras What sets all forms of Indian dance apart fromoth...
It is important to choose the right handgestures for the message we wish to convey. Aswe embark on these journeys with our...
Who would have thought our  fingers and hands wouldhave so much to     tell?       12
Class #4: Is There A Face For That?   Hand gestures play such an important role in  telling our dancing stories, but along...
Having good facial expressions is very important. We have to have full control of our   eyes, lips, foreheads, and cheeks....
How cool would it be, if you  could tell astory with your  face and no    words?       15
Class #5: When Bollywood Meets Tradition  When you watch a Bollywood (Indian) movie,  one of the first things you notice i...
Kathak                            Bharatnatyam  In the olden days, many actors and actresseswere trained dancers in either...
Today, many people have mastered the  traditional forms of dance, giving it a modern flare that is flattering to the big s...
Class #6: Hair, Makeup, & Costume—Beautify                  Yourself  You have your dance ready, but what do you   wear? I...
A chaniya choli is a three-piece outfit that allows for great flexibility in movement. Itcontains a blouse, a skirt, and a...
A sari is nine yards of beautiful fabric that can   be wrapped around the body in a number ofdifferent ways. It is also a ...
A salwar kameez is a three-piece outfit that isthe easiest to wear. It contains pants, a top, anda scarf. The pants come i...
Your make up is intended to define your facial   features. You will usually see very dramatic makeup depending on the perf...
Class #7: Lights, Camera, DanceLearning these elements is very important. It isquite difficult to do all these things indi...
It is extremely nerve wracking when you get     onto the stage. Your heart is racing andremembering to smile is so difficu...
Strike a POSE (& Smile)!!      26
Glossary1. Natraj: The God of dance2. Mudras: Hand gestures used in dance and yoga3. Mahabharata: The epic war that determ...
Want to watch a classical Indian dance?                   Visit:https://sites.google.com/site/dancingstories/             ...
About the Author                                      I’m Nisha Dullabh, a                                  student at the...
Dancing stories
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Dancing stories

  1. 1. I dedicate this book to my passion for dance and those that have supported my love from the very beginning. 2
  2. 2. Dancing Stories 3
  3. 3. Table of ContentsClass #1: Namaskar Page 2Class #2: Telling a Story Page 4Class #3: From 10 Fingers to Thousands of Gestures: Mudras Page 6Class #4: Is There A Face For That? Page 9Class #5: When Bollywood Meets Tradition Page 12Class #6: Hair, Makeup, & Costume—Beautify Yourself Page 15Class #7: Lights, Camera, Dance Page 20 4
  4. 4. Indian Dance is a broad category of dance that incorporates many different styles and characteristics. While it is one of the mostancient forms of dance, it is still very much alive today. Come and join me as I explore a dance form so dear to me, one that has traditional components with a modern flare. 5
  5. 5. Class #1: Namaskar5… 6… 7… 8… Right Hand, Right Foot Left Hand, Left Foot Bend at the knees, Touch the floor Pay your respects & POSE 6
  6. 6. Dancing is an art of the god, Natraj—His gift to theworld. Before every dance, we give our respect to thestage we dance on and to God, for gifting us with theability to dance. This is the time when we gather ournerves, ask for protection, and muster up the courageto do the best we can. As we engage in one of themost ancient forms of dance, one with a history thatgoes back centuries, we must be thankful for theamazing gift of… D A N C E! 7
  7. 7. Class #2: Telling a StoryWhen we dance, we tell a story. Our movement embodies the words of the songs we perform.Through our facial expressions, hands, and body language we are able to recite ancient history,tell love stories, show our devotion to God, and celebrate a special moment in our lives. 8
  8. 8. In dance, we use what we have. In dance, we speak to the audience. In dance, we share something with our audience that we love so dearly. Every movement matters. Every beat counts. From head to toe, our body becomes the story; the passion is in our eyes, and the dedication is eminent in our bones. The audience feels theemotions our bodies evoke and goes through an adventure that is not only passionate but fun and engaging as well. 9
  9. 9. Class #3: From 10 Fingers to Thousands of Gestures: Mudras What sets all forms of Indian dance apart fromother types of dance is the magical use of fingers and hands. Formally, these gestures are called Mudras. You can have mudras for dance and yoga. The careful formations created byindividual fingers and hands depict the intricate stories we wish to tell. While some mudras are specific to objects and feelings, others may be used for the enhancement of our movements. 10
  10. 10. It is important to choose the right handgestures for the message we wish to convey. Aswe embark on these journeys with our audience, we give them a taste of our personal style of dance and our understanding of the story we wish to tell them. With our hands, we cannot only captivate the audience, but also share something personal, without the use of words, to those who may or may not know us. 11
  11. 11. Who would have thought our fingers and hands wouldhave so much to tell? 12
  12. 12. Class #4: Is There A Face For That? Hand gestures play such an important role in telling our dancing stories, but along with that, our facial expressions are equally important. Throughout our stories, we are experiencing amyriad of emotions. If we are telling a story of theepic wars of Mahabharata and Ramayana, we may feel despair, fear, anger, and sadness. But each ofthese emotions looks and feels different from one another. Through our facial expressions, we are able to connect our emotions and feelings to our movement. Together these give the audience abetter understanding of what we are sharing with them. 13
  13. 13. Having good facial expressions is very important. We have to have full control of our eyes, lips, foreheads, and cheeks. Using thethirty major muscles in our faces, we can display thousands of different emotions. By gaining control of our muscles and learning ways to make certain emotions evident, our stories are more authentic. 14
  14. 14. How cool would it be, if you could tell astory with your face and no words? 15
  15. 15. Class #5: When Bollywood Meets Tradition When you watch a Bollywood (Indian) movie, one of the first things you notice is that it is a musical. The interplay between, song, dance, and movie storylines is very characteristic of Bollywood films. Many of these films are about love, the story of two star-crossed lovers whoface a rough patch in the middle, but fall deeply in love at the end. To express these events, theactors in the movies will sing and dance a song. The dances in these films are very uniquebecause they incorporate traditional and modern elements of dance and music. 16
  16. 16. Kathak Bharatnatyam In the olden days, many actors and actresseswere trained dancers in either Bharatanatyam or Kathak (two ancient forms of dance in India).These dances not only incorporated traditional elements of these individual dance styles, but they also captured their essence. As time progressed, fewer actors were trained dancers,but their choreographers were well trained and extremely talented. The dance form morphed into a more modern take on the traditional elements of classical Indian dance. 17
  17. 17. Today, many people have mastered the traditional forms of dance, giving it a modern flare that is flattering to the big screen and our stages at home. This form has also gained popularity as performances for specialcelebrations and wedding parties and receptions.It is a crowd pleaser and a very captivating form of dance—everyone feels as though they are a part of it from start to finish. 18
  18. 18. Class #6: Hair, Makeup, & Costume—Beautify Yourself You have your dance ready, but what do you wear? India comes with an amazing fashion history. The fashion industry never seems totake a break, which is every dancer’s dream. For this type of dance, you have many different costume options. You can wear a chaniya choli, a sari, or a salwar kameez. Some are easier to dance in than others, but all are extremely beautiful. Your options within these general types are endless. Any tailor in India can make you exactly what you envision. 19
  19. 19. A chaniya choli is a three-piece outfit that allows for great flexibility in movement. Itcontains a blouse, a skirt, and a long scarf. Inwearing this outfit, you are to secure all threeparts so that your movement is free and fluid. 20
  20. 20. A sari is nine yards of beautiful fabric that can be wrapped around the body in a number ofdifferent ways. It is also a three-piece outfit with a blouse, nine yards of fabric, and a liner skirt. With a sari, your movement is a little more restricted because of the way you wrap the fabric around your body. 21
  21. 21. A salwar kameez is a three-piece outfit that isthe easiest to wear. It contains pants, a top, anda scarf. The pants come in many different styles:skinny legged, wide legged, even legging style. It is kind of like buying a pair of jeans, with so many different styles to choose from. 22
  22. 22. Your make up is intended to define your facial features. You will usually see very dramatic makeup depending on the performance. Heavy eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, and lipstick are amust. On our hands and feet, you may see some dancers wear mendhi. Mendhi is also known ashenna. It draws attention to the hands and feet, highlighting these body parts to give the mudras and body language more definition. Your hair is generally pulled back in a ponytail or bun to draw more attention to your facial features. The more the audience can see yourface, the better understanding they have of your dancing story. 23
  23. 23. Class #7: Lights, Camera, DanceLearning these elements is very important. It isquite difficult to do all these things individually. It takes even more dedication to put them together. Our dances have a beginning, middle, and end. When we start our dances with our namaskar, we set the tone for the remainder.We tell the audience that we are ready and that we are prepared to take them on an adventure. When the music plays, the story comes to life. The lights and stage become our best friendsand as we use the music to guide our movement, the audience is captivated. 24
  24. 24. It is extremely nerve wracking when you get onto the stage. Your heart is racing andremembering to smile is so difficult because you are so nervous. But you just have to make it through the first beat. You brush it off thesecond you pay your respects and then you just let the music enter your soul; dance from theheart and you strut your stuff. Fall in love withdance so everyone can experience your love for an art form so beautiful and ancient. Just remember, when you finish… 25
  25. 25. Strike a POSE (& Smile)!! 26
  26. 26. Glossary1. Natraj: The God of dance2. Mudras: Hand gestures used in dance and yoga3. Mahabharata: The epic war that determined who would ruleall of India. The side of good was guide by Lord Krishna.4. Ramayana: The epic war between good and evil where LordRam was the leader of the side of good.5. Bollywood: The largest movie and music industry in the world.6. Bharatanaytam: A form of classical Indian dance thatoriginated from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.7. Kathak: A form of classical Indian dance that originated fromthe North India state of Uttar Pradesh.8. Chaniya Choli: A three-piece outfit traditionally worn in India.It consists of a blouse, a skirt, and a long scarf.9. Sari: A tradition garment worn by women that consists ofnine yards of fabric. It consists of fabric, a blouse, and a skirt.10. Salwar Kameez: A three-piece pant outfit that istraditionally worn my females. It consists of a top, pants, and ascarf.11. Mendhi: Also known as henna. This is a paste made ofeucalypts leaves that can be used as a temporary tattoo for thehands and feet.Acknowledgement: All of the imagines found in this book are from Google Images 27
  27. 27. Want to watch a classical Indian dance? Visit:https://sites.google.com/site/dancingstories/ 28
  28. 28. About the Author I’m Nisha Dullabh, a student at the University Of Georgia—a proud Georgia Bulldawg at that. Since I was a little girl, I have loved to dance. I would follow my cousin around, copying her cheers and dances she practiced around the house. Eventually I began to engage in classical Indian dance on my own. I never took any formal dance classes, but learned from the many Internet resources I could find and the people around me. I started teaching dance at the age of twelve and found a new appreciation for this beautiful art form.Through this book, I hope to introduce an ancient art form that is not only beautiful to watch, but also tells wonderful stories in a unique way. Enjoy! 29

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