Photo Essay

Recitals Galore

Young Classical Dancer

For years I have been attending various Indian festivals where my camera is usually welcome. During every season there are always classical and Bollywood dance recitals, which I love to photograph. Once there was even a fire dance. One of the hardest things to capture is The Dance, especially the moment when the pose peaks. But I try. It is very good practice for any type of action photography, including candid portraits of children! And it is a wonderful way to stay sharp. The joy and color I absorb from these recitals is so invigorating!

Classical Indian dances were originally done in temples. "A dance style is classical to the extent it incorporates the Natya Shastra techniques. Some of the styles such as Kathak use very few elements found in Natya Shastra. Other art dances yet to be conferred as classical dances, whose theories and techniques can also be traced back to the Natya Shastra.

Out of the nine recognized dance forms, the only two temple dance styles that have their origin in Natya Shastra and are prescribed by the Agamas are Bharata Natyam and Odissi. These two most faithfully adhere to the Natya Shastra but currently do not include Vaachikaabhinaya (dialog acts), although some styles of Bharata Natyam, such as Melattur style, prescribe the lip and eye movements indicating Vaachikaabhinaya.

Kuchipudi, (danced on a brass platter) which also prescribes the lip movements indicating Vaachikaabhinaya, and Mohiniyattam are relatively recent Darbari Aatam forms, just as Kathakali, and two eastern Indian styles, Manipuri and Sattriya, that are quite similar.

Kathak originated as a court dance. Some believe it evolved from Lord Krishna's raas lilas, forms of which have also evolved into the popular Garba-style dances popular in North India and Gujarat. The style gradually changed during the Mughal period under the influence of Persian dance, a major change being straight knees instead of the bent knees used in most other Indian classical forms. Intricate footwork and spins, as well as abhinaya, are the highlights of Kathak..." Wikipedia

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25 responses

  • Krishna Dronamraju

    Krishna Dronamraju gave props (11 Jun 2013):

    Outstanding photography, Michele!

  • Krishna Dronamraju

    Krishna Dronamraju said (11 Jun 2013):

    Excellent story. Well written and informative! I would like to find out more.


    ROCIO GUILLEN   gave props (11 Jun 2013):

    Beautiful and colorful essay! Voted.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    Brava! Outstanding work. Congrats on the JPG blog feature. Well deserved.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray   gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    A wonderful story together with exquisite coloured photos full of movement. Bravo Michele, I voted.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    Wonderful professional work...Congrats on the JPG blog ...Voting!

  • Maggie Posh

    Maggie Posh (Deleted) gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    Excellent work Mich !

  • chuck vona

    chuck vona   gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    Voted, great colors and very good composition on all. Nicely done

  • Bruce Wendler

    Bruce Wendler gave props (13 Jun 2013):

    You got the perfect moment shots

  • Rey mos

    Rey mos said (13 Jun 2013):

    Beautiful capture!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (14 Jun 2013): deserve nominations... My vote

  • JPG

    JPG gave props (16 Jun 2013):

    Congrats on being The Story of the Week!

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins   gave props (16 Jun 2013):

    Congrats Michele!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (17 Jun 2013):

    Congrats, Michele. Well deserved.

  • Sarah Springer

    Sarah Springer   gave props (17 Jun 2013):

    Congrats on story of the week! A most excellent narrative and superb images

  • Ma. Dolores Guillén Solís

    Ma. Dolores Guillén Solís   gave props (17 Jun 2013):

    Well deserved story of the week, Michele! And the images are really beautiful!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (17 Jun 2013):

    Congratulation on story of the week...Well done

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (17 Jun 2013):

    wonderful and congrats on story of the week - so well deserved!

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt   gave props (18 Jun 2013):

    Im always late to the party. Massive Congrats Michele!

  • rekha nag

    rekha nag gave props (19 Jun 2013):

    congrats Michele!! Great work!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (20 Jun 2013):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (20 Jun 2013):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

  • Evelyne Schulte

    Evelyne Schulte   gave props (20 Jun 2013):

    Congrats Michele! Beautiful work!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (22 Jun 2013):


  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (28 Jun 2013):

    Admirable your vast knowledge on the subject. Great story!

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