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Dances of Tamil Nadu

Dance as an art form is fleeting since the very moment of its performance can't be captured, but it can reside in the memory forever. Tamil Nadu in India is the cradle for a number of dance forms that still thrive in India today. Significantly enough dances of Tamil Nadu are held in high esteem and are cultural representations of reverence to the deities and contributions of the dynastical lineage of the state.

Folk dances of Tamil Nadu like Mayil Attam, Bomalattam (puppet show), Kummi, and Kai Silambu Attam speak of the very essence and history of Tamil Nadu. However, Tamil Nadu's most renowned dance form is Bharat Natyam which is universally recognized and practiced.

Bharat Natyam as a dance form consists of many attributes- bhava meaning expressions, raga or musical cadence, tala or rhythm and natyam or dance. The temples of south India and the postures of the figurines on the temple wall form the inspiration behind Bharat Natyam. The devotional nature of the dance is well established by the Devdasis or women dancers and worshippers who are married to the deity. It is believed that the different postures and taal of Bharat Natyam have been composed by the great sage Bharata.

Dances of Tamil Nadu specially bharat natyam has taken this art form to universal standard. An amalgamation of the abstract and the emotional, striking equipoise between the body movements and the fleeting expressions, teasing the audience and at the same time transferring them into another world and ambience just by the body gait.

Dances of Tamil Nadu also have a folk lore ring to them. For instance Mayil Attam, a folk dance portrays girls in peacock feathers and dress. Bomalattam is yet another dance form where the puppets are made of wood, leather, cloth and are manipulated by the help of strings or wire. These puppets enact the ancient folk stories of the Vedas and puranas

Kummi dance emerged when there was no musical instrument to accompany the dance form. This dance is performed mostly by women during the time of festivals. They form a circle and clap their hand and move around with the beat in accordance to the rhythm.


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