Dance, music and theater are an enduring part of the Indian cultural milieu. In India all forms of art have a sacred origin and the inner experience of the soul finds its highest expression in music and dance. The Hindu attitude towards art as an expression of the Inner beauty or Divine in man brought it into close connection with religion. Using the body as a medium of communication, the expression of dance is perhaps the most intricate and developed, yet easily understood art form.
Indian dance is a blend of nritta – the rhythmic elements, nritya – the combination of rhythm with expression and natya – the dramatic element. Nritta is the rhythmic movement of the body in dance, pure dance. It does not express any emotion. Nritya is usually expressed through the eyes, hands and facial movements. Nritya combined with nritta makes up the usual dance program. Nritya comprises abhinaya, depicting rasa (sentiment) and bhava (mood). To appreciate natya or dance drama, one has to understand and appreciate Indian legends. Most Indian dances take their themes from India’s rich mythology and folk legends. Hindu gods and goddesses like Vishnu and Lakshmi, Rama and Sita, Krishna and Radha are all depicted in classical Indian dances. Each dance form also draws inspiration from stories depicting the life, ethics and beliefs of the Indian people.