Fri Nov 9, 2012 10:50am IST

Classical dance in India

A school girl practices Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance, before a performance on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala February 20, 2012.
Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
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A school girl drinks juice before a performance of Indian classical dance on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala February 20, 2012.
Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
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School girls wait backstage before a performance of Indian classical dance on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala February 20, 2012.
Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
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A Kathakali dancer wears a dress ahead of his performance at a dance festival in Hyderabad February 16, 2012.
Reuters/Krishnendu Halder
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A Kathakali dancer waits for her performance to start during the annual temple festival at Tripunithura, in Kochi November 24, 2011. /Sivaram V
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) speaks with classical dancers after they performed Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance, at the Kalakshetra cultural center in Chennai July 20, 2011.
Reuters/Stringer
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A Kathakali dancer gets his make-up done ahead of his performance at a dance festival in Hyderabad February 16, 2012.
Reuters/Krishnendu Halder
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Rani Khanam, an Indian classical dancer, performs the Kathak dance during a cultural programme in Agartala, Tripura, February 18, 2009.
Reuters/Jayanta Dey
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Veteran Bollywood actress Hema Malini (R)performs a classical dance with an artist in front of a canvas during a function organised by the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Allahabad December 16, 2008.
Reuters/Jitendra Prakash
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A Kathakali dancer touches his make up during a promotional event of Kerala tourism in Hyderabad July 29, 2008.
Reuters/Krishnendu Halder
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Kathakali dancers perform during a promotional event for Kerala tourism in Hyderabad July 29, 2008. Kathakali is a classical dance-drama that combines literature, music, painting, acting and dancing.
Reuters/Krishnendu Halder
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Indian classical dancers perform 'Bharatanatyam' during a cultural programme in Chandigarh July 22, 2008. Bharatanatyam is a revered and ancient classical dance form and is the oldest classical dance form taught and practiced in India.
Reuters/Ajay Verma
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A dancer performs Odissi dance during a cultural programme in Agartala, Tripura, December 26, 2007. Odissi, the classical dance style of the eastern Indian state of Orissa, is characterised by its hand and body postures used to depict the theme of love between Lord Krishna...
Reuters/Jayanta Dey
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Pratibha Prahlad, an Indian classical dancer, performs 'Bharatanatyam' during a cultural show in Chandigarh October 13, 2006.
Reuters/Ajay Verma
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Rukmini Vijay Kumar, Indian classical dancer of Bharatnatyam, poses against the backdrop of the renowned Khajuraho temple during the week-long annual dance festival in Khajuraho February 26, 2006. Khajuraho temples are known for their erotic sculptures.
Reuters/Raj Patidar
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Dancers perform a classical dance during a function in Chandigarh July 28, 2006. Picture taken on July 28, 2006.
Reuters/Ajay Verma
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Dancers perform a classical dance during a function in Chandigarh July 28, 2006.
Reuters/Ajay Verma
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An Indian Odissi dancer performs during the first day of the Ananya festival in New Delhi October 6, 2003.
Reuters/B. Mathur JSG//JV
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Indian classical dancer Dona Ganguly (foreground) and her students perform in Mumbai September 20, 2003.
Reuters/Sherwin Crasto SC/
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Indian college students take part in a classical Punjabi dance performance in Amritsar February 3, 2003.
Reuters/Munish Byala JSG/CP
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A group of Odissi dancers perform on a beach during the Konark Dance Festival, 70 km (43 miles) from Bhubaneshwar, December 6, 2001.
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Two male dancers practice in front of a temple in Konarak, 64 kms (40 miles) south of Bhubaneswar, December 1, 2002.
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Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Odissi -- India has a rich tradition of classical dance forms.

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