"Thinking is easy but acting is difficult and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Indian Dance has inculcated the sense of rhythm in all living beings. The earth moves round the sun in a rhythm, the wind blows in a rhythm, the rain showers in a rhythm, every microscopic organism also has rhythm. In this universe everything is based on rhythm. Without rhythm time has no definition. Mathematically, rhythm is nothing but the division of time. Therefore Indian dance is the rhythm of life and living beings, i.e. dance or impulsive movements suggest the presence of life in an object.
Indian Classical Dance
There are six forms of Indian Classical Dance:
- Bharata Natyam
Every person has an instinctive sense of dance. All the same it is very difficult to provide a correct definition for Indian dance because its antiquity, vastness and multiple facets make it impossible to make a total conclusive statement. Indian culture is based on spiritualism and as Indian classical dance forms an integral part of Indian culture, it involves spiritual experiences thereby transforming oneself to the seventh heaven.
The message conveyed through such experiences is that every object, whether animate or inanimate, is considered to be a fragment of the Supreme Being and when both the souls merge, the former attains, what in the Hindu terminology is Moksha or salvation. Hence dance is a logical way to attain salvation.
Traditional Indian Dance
Great Indian mystics have mentioned about this stage in which the soul becomes one with God. During the dance, the dancer prays to the divine spirit with the following words:
"Oh Lord! From the unreal lead me to the real,
From darkness lead me to light, from death lead me to immortality."
This is that traditional Indian dance, its deepest significance is felt when it is realized that it takes place within the heart and the self. Everywhere is God. Using this context, there is complete internalization of the subject and the dancer, quite oblivious of the external surrounding, becomes one with the dance. This is the dance of enlightenment.
Wherever the mind goes, there it experiences Samadhi, for it does not find an object of enjoyment. God is filling every speck of space. The whole world is clothed with the glory of god.Such is the transformational power of traditional Indian dance that it changes an ordinary mortal into a self-attained entity.