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Day 2 – Q 3.As per the ancient treatises, dance is considered to have three aspects: natya, nritya and nritta. With the help of suitable examples, explain the meaning and significance of these aspects?

3. As per the ancient treatises, dance is considered to have three aspects: natya, nritya and nritta. With the help of suitable examples, explain the meaning and significance of these aspects? 

 प्राचीन ग्रंथों के अनुसार, नृत्य के तीन पहलू माने जाते हैं: नाट्य, नृत्य और नृत्त। उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से, इन पहलुओं के अर्थ और महत्व की व्याख्या करें?


In the dance there is the combination of the movements of the body, of the hands, of the expression, of the face and the eyes together with a music accompaniment exalting the theme that the dance wants to describe; a theme which can have a religious, mythological, legendary character or one from the classic literature. The Sanskrit terms used to refer to the dance confirm such assertion. It is divided, in fact, in three categories: natya, nritta, nritya.



Natya means abhinaya and it is the combined manifestation of bhava, rasa and abhinaya. The term natya is derived from the root Nat, meaning movement and to mean to dance or act. It can also be considered as the combination of Lyal, isai and nataka, ie, Literature, music and Drama. Thus Natya is telling the story through dance and music or laya and abhinaya or Nritta and Nritya. Bharatha described Natya as pure abhinaya having six angas such as postures, words, gestures, expression of temperament, music and rasa. Facial abhinaya is very important in Natya. It is divided into ten sections. They are Bhana, Veedhi, Anga, Vyayoga, Samavakara, Yihamriga, Dima, Prahasana, Nataka etc. This constitutes the Dasarupakas. Example, In Bharatanatyam the Padams come under the Natya.


Nritya consists of footwork and abhinaya. It relates to Rasa and psychological state. Angika abhinaya relating to Hasta, eyes, eye brows, lips etc. are very important in Nritya. It can be termed as the explanatory aspect of dance where hand gestures and facial expressions convey the meaning of the lyrics of the performing song. Bhav of the dancer is of prime importance in this so it can also be considered as the miming aspect of dance. ‘Rasabhavavyanjanaadiyuktam nrutyamitiryate ‘.Nritya mainly depends on Bhavabhinaya. It has five forms such as Vishama, Vikata, Laghu, Perani and Gundali. The term is believed to have derived from Nrit, meaning bodily movements. Nritya is considered to be that form of dance that suggests both Bhava and Rasa. It combines all the three forms of abhinaya, namely, Angika, Vachika, and Sattvikam. Example In bharatanatyam Swarajathi, Sabdam and Varnam which come under Nritya.


Nritta means pure dance, a presentation of rhythm through graceful movement of the body. It always reflects the mood, Bhava and Rasa underlying the compositions sung for dance. It is important for its pure beauty. This presentation of dance does not stress on facial expressions. Footwork is given prominence in this. Beat and tempo are the guiding factors for the synchronization between the rhythm and time. Abhinaya Darpana defines nritta as bodily movements without evoking Rasa Bhava. ‘Rasa bhaavaviheenaantu nrittamityabhidiyate’ Tala and laya are the basic concepts of nritta. “Nrittm talalayasritam”as given in Dasarupaka stresses the basic concepts of nritta. Nritta figures in the first part of a dance performance. It involves bodily movements and consists of chari, rechika, Angaharas, Karanas, Bhramaris, Nrittahastas etc. Nritta is divided into three forms such as Vishama, Vikata and Laghu. Generally, expressional aspect is given less importance and more emphasis is given for the movement of various angas of the body. Example, in the art of Bharatnatyam, the starting items, Alarippu, Kauthuvam, Jathiswaram all come under Nritta.


The movements of Nritta, Nritya and Natya should always be in concordance with the primary standards of Dance. Laya found in Nritta in combination with Bhava becomes Nritya, which in turn when combined with gestures and actions becomes Natya. Natya will ultimately be impressive as well as effective only when there is a harmony between the bodily movements of the dance and emotional expressions of the abhinaya. All great dancers display a perfect blend of all three in each of their performances.

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