Dance has existed for as long as the human has been around. It was used to pass on stories from one generation to the next, but over the years, it has been transformed and is used for everything from fitness to therapy. Here’s a look at a few ways in which dance is employed in modern times.
(1) TRADITION : Bharata Muni’s NATYASHASTRA, which literally translates to “the text of dramaturgy”, is one of the earliest texts on the subject. Dance has many forms in India, with each state having its own unique style. From the popular Bharatnatyam to Kathak, and the not-so-known Sattriya of Assam, dance has been a way to tell stories and bring people together. These dance forms have survived centuries and still find eager learners today, with the addition of Salsa, Ballet and Jazz among others.
(2) FITNESS : Almost all gyms in the city offer dance classes. Zumba, which fuses dance and aerobics, is extremely popular in the city. Apart from this, people are also opting for Latin dance workouts. Hip Hop, Jazzercise ( a combination of Jazz and exercise) and Bollywood dance to shed those extra kilos. Feeling a little adventurous ? Then you can try your hand at pole Dancing, Burlesque and Belly Dance.
(3) THERAPY : There are institutes in Bengaluru that offer dance therapy, for those suffering from diabetes, obesity, pregnant women, those in high-stress environments and for IT people among others. Dance therapy merges psychotherapeutic dance moves with holistic therapy which helps support emotional, intellectual and motor functions. It also improves flexibility and strength.
(4) RAISING AWARENESS : Dance is also more and more being used to spread awareness. Although plays that employ dance and music have been used in India to spread social messages, it has got a international makeover of sorts. Taking a cue from the West, city folk have adopted flash mobs to raise awareness on everything from environment to voting.
(5) DANCE DRAMAS : What’s better than one art form ? Dance dramas are steeped in Indian history, but are lately finding a lot of takers in modern theatre. Several plays off late have been using contemporary dance forms to help actors emote and help the audience understand a character better. While plays in India would usually bank on traditionally native dance forms, theatre today has gone a step further by incorporating dance forms and stories from across the world.
Dance when you’re broken open. Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.———Rumi (13th century Persian poet and scholar)