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About Indian Dances

India is a country where you can witness a unique blend of innumerable cultures and traditions.The customs and traditions practiced in a particular region of the country are usually influenced by the geographical and climatic conditions of that region as well as exposure of the region to other cultures


Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers. Sadir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms that includes some acrobatic karanas. Bharatnatyam is usually accompanied by Carnatic music. It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram.
Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of: 'Bha' - Bhavam (means expression), 'Ra' - Ragam (means music), 'Ta - Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil.
Bharatanatyam is a reworked dance-form from the traditional "sadir" known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.



Kuchipudi (pronounced as 'Koochipoodi') is a Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also popular all over South India. Kuchipudi is the name of avillage in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name.
The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu.It originated in the seventh century.


Odissi Dance

Odissi is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originates from the state of Orissa, in eastern India. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences.The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra, refers to it as Odra-Magadhi. 1st century BCE bas-reliefs in the hills of Udaygiri (near Bhubaneshwar) testify to its antiquity. It was suppressed under the British Raj, but has been reconstructed since India gained independence. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the Tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as Chauka or Chouka that symbolizes Lord Jagannath.

Ratna Roy Odissi Performance :
Ratna Roy, Ph.D., started her training in Odissi dance in 1972. One of his seniormost disciples of the guru of gurus, Pankaj Charan das, she has performed extensively as a soloist in India, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, the Baltics, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, China, and Japan.She formed her dance company Urvasi in 1975 to train dancers in the guru’s legacy. Today Urvasi is considered to be one of the ten foremost companies in the world. In the US she is well-known for her own choreography based on her dual heritage as an Indian and an American.



Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features ofPersian dance and central asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.
The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means he who tells a story, or to do with stories. The name of the form is properly katthak, with the geminated dental to show a derived form, but this has since simplified to modern-day कथक kathak. kathaa kahe so kathak is a saying many teachers pass on to their pupils, which is generally translated, 's/he who tells a story, is a kathak', but which can also be translated, 'that which tells a story, that is 'Kathak'.


Nalini & The Blue Lotus Dancers

Nalini is an accomplished dancer trained in classical Indian dance traditions. She has combined her formal training with more modern expressions of Bollywood and Belly Dance. Audiences are thrilled by her graceful and colorful performances. Her dance school in Seattle is a fun destination for learning dance and exercise disciplines to body tone and health. Nalini has trained a group of beautiful young ladies who perform Bollywood, Belly and Gypsy dances that captivate audiences.
Website: http://www.bluelotusdance.com/


Haleem Khan

Haleem Khan is an accomplished Kuchipudi dancer, performing from since the last 15 years. A solo artist, with a very unique background, that as a Muslim he has been passionate about the Hindu dance form. Also unique and rare, as he has choreographed and performed experimental dance forms , which were loved by the audience across the globe. He also brings the old back the legacy of the Kuchipudi dance, where men danced as women - he is particularly dedicated to this spectacular art.
Haleem has won many got many awards and accolades from the Indian Government, as well as from reputed Telugu organizations. He has more than 800 to his credit, in India and abroad.
He wishes to spread the culture and dance knowledge across the world.
As a lover of performing arts, even acting come to Haleem naturally. He is currently working for a few movies in India.
Haleem lives in Hyderabad, India. He is touring the United States, and is currently in Seattle conducting dance workshops and performances.


From Within Academy

From Within Academy is one of Seattle's premier dance institutions founded by Smt. M. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam. It trains the young and young at heart in the South Indian Classical dance form - Bharatanatyam. The team of From Within Academy is a group of well-trained Bharatanatyam dancers who believe that Bharatanatyam is a way of life, joy and celebration that should be shared with others.