The 8 classical dances of India—Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Manipuri, and Sattriya—are all said to be based on the Natya Shastram. Each is considered a Tapas (penance) in itself, and each dance form is an ocean of knowledge that requires patience and dedication.
The Natya Shastram is Considered the 5th veda; it was created to explain the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas to the commoner. It was written in the period between 200 BCE and 200 CE in classical India and is traditionally attributed to the Sage Bharata. It is unknown if Bharata was one person or a group of people. Research on this matter is underway.
The mythological story that surrounds the Natya Shastram is as follows:
“Once on the request of the Devas, Brahma, who is the Creator of the universe, created the art of dance, taking elements from the four vedas. He took the hymns from the Rig veda, the aspect of music from Sama veda, the gestures from Yajur veda and emotions from Atharva vedas. Out of this he fashioned a new veda and this is sometimes referred to as the Panchamo veda” ( the 5th veda)
Although the supernatural stories prove to be quite intriguing, the true stories of these dance styles are very interesting in themselves.
Please contact us