differences between Bollywood Dance and Bharatanatyam

In the vibrant tapestry of Indian dance forms, Bollywood Dance and Bharatanatyam stand out as two distinct and culturally rich styles. While both are deeply rooted in Indian tradition, they embody different aesthetics, stories and expressions.

Understanding bollywood dance:

Origins and influences:

Bollywood Dance originated from the Indian film industry, characterized by its fusion of various dance styles, including classical Indian, folk, and Western dance forms. It is heavily influenced by the colorful and exuberant nature of Bollywood films, which often feature elaborate song and dance sequences as an integral part of their storytelling.

Aesthetic and expression:

Bollywood Dance is known for its high-energy moves, vibrant costumes, and expressive gestures. It embodies joy, celebration, and romance, with dancers often performing intricate choreography to the rhythm of popular Bollywood songs. The dance style emphasizes fluidity, grace, and theatrical expressions allowing for creative expression and entertainment.

Exploring Bharatanatyam:

Ancient tradition and spiritual significance

Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest classical dance forms of India, originating from the temples of Tamil Nadu. It has a rich history dating back thousands of years and is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology, spirituality, and devotion. Bharatanatyam is often performed as a form of worship and storytelling, with movements and gestures that have a deep symbolic meaning.

Technical precision and symbolism

Bharatanatyam is characterized by its precise footwork, intricate hand gestures (mudras), and facial expressions (abhinaya). Dancers undergo rigorous training to master the complex rhythmic patterns and choreography associated with this classical dance form. Each movement and gesture in Bharatanatyam carries symbolic significance, conveying stories from Hindu epics and mythology with grace and precision.

Differences between bollywood dance and bharatanatyam:

1. Context and purpose:

Bollywood Dance is primarily a form of entertainment, often performed in films, stage shows, and social gatherings. It aims to entertain and evoke emotions through dynamic choreography and catchy music. On the other hand, Bharatanatyam has deeper spiritual and cultural significance, rooted in ancient traditions and rituals. It is performed in temples, theaters, and sacred ceremonies as a means of worship and storytelling.

2. Technique and training:

While both dance forms require skill and training, the techniques and training methods differ significantly. Bollywood Dance is more accessible and adaptable, often incorporating elements of Western dance styles and focusing on performance and entertainment value. Bharatanatyam, on the other hand, demands extensive training in classical dance techniques, including complex footwork, hand gestures, and facial expressions, requiring years of dedicated practice to master.

3. Costumes and presentation:

In terms of costumes and presentation, Bollywood Dance is characterized by colorful and flamboyant attire, often featuring sequins, glitter, and bold patterns. The choreography is designed to showcase the costumes and enhance the visual spectacle of the performance. In contrast, Bharatanatyam costumes are more traditional, typically consisting of a silk saree that is personalized to each dancer adorned with traditional temple jewelry. The focus is on enhancing the elegance and grace of the dancer’s movements.

While, both Bollywood Dance and Bharatanatyam are integral parts of Indian culture and heritage, they represent distinct expressions of artistry, tradition, and storytelling. Bollywood Dance captivates audiences with its vibrant energy and entertainment value, while Bharatanatyam enchants with its grace, symbolism, and spiritual depth.

At dance with Vini, we celebrate the diversity and richness of Indian dance forms, offering students the opportunity to explore and appreciate the beauty of both Bollywood Dance and Bharatanatyam.

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