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Indian Classical Dances
Bhavas - Dance Expression
Hasta Mudra
Hand Gestures
The Navarasas
Gesture & Posture
Feet in Dance
Qualities & Performances


1. Sthayi Bhavas:

Sthayi Bhavas is nine as there are nine Rasas, each Sthayi-Bhava having a respective Rasa. They are rat; (prem or anurag), has, shoka, krodha, utsaha, bhaya, ghrina, ashcharya and Shama.

2. Sanchari Bhava:

Sthayi Bhavas have a few Sanchari Bhavas which have a close relation with Sthayi Bhavas and these Sanchari Bhavas bring up the Sthayi-Bhavas; they show their importance only at times or else they are helping factors. They are always changing and moving about and so they are called Sanchari.

There are Thirty-three such Bhavas, dance expressions, as enumerated in the Shastras:

1. Nirveda (hates own self), 2. GIani (from tiresomeness), 3. Shanka, 4. Shrama 5. Dhrity (Santosh), 6.Jarata (which arises on hearing any bad message of a beloved), 7.Harsha, 8.Dainya, 9.Ougrya, 10.Chinta, 11. Trasa, 12. Asuya or Irsha (arising from somebodys wealth), 13. Amarsha, 14. Garva, 15. Smriti, 16. Marana, 17. Mada, 18. Supta (a particular situation at the time of lying down),19. Nidra, 20. Vivodha (to be awakened or to awake), 21. Vrira (Lajja, bashfulness), 22. Apasmar (lunaticism), 23. Moha, 24.Mati (the knowledge of things at their proper places), 25. Alasya, 26. Avega, 27.Tarka, 28. Avahitta, 29. Vyadhi, 30. Unmada,31.Vishada, 32. Autsukya, 33. Chapalya.

There are other Bhavas ( Dance Expressions) also in the human mind, but the above-mentioned are the main ones.

1. Bibhava:
The cause of any Sthayi Bhava which enter into the composition of any poem or drama, are called Bibhava (elements). Bibhava is of two kinds, viz., Alamvana and Uddipana.
- Alamvana Bibhava:
That which is essential to the awakening of Sthayi Bhava is called Alamvana Bibhava.

- Uddipana Bibhava:
That which excites a Rasa is called the Uddipana Bibhava. Uddipana Bibhava constitutes the attempts of the character concerned, and his experience of a feeling of similarity as to time and place.

2. Anubhava:
Anubhavas are resulting or intentional actions. Anubhava is the expression by means of part of any Sthayi or Sanchari Bhava. Anubhavas and Mudras are the signs of Bhavas in a dance. They are the languages by means of which the idea of a dance is narrated. Its particular Anubhava can express every Bhava.

3. Sattwika Bhava:
The mental condition arising from the Sattwika Guna is called Sattwika Bhava. Still it sometimes assumes different shapes due to Anubhava. Stambha, Sweda, Romancha, Swarabhanga, Bepathu. Vaibarnya, Asru and Pralaya make up the Sattwika Bhava. A Sattwika Bhava cannot be itself an unintentional emotional condition unless it is influenced by Anubhava.

LasyaThe above mentioned Bhavas are expressed by males and also females in both Tandava and Lasya.

But there are a few Bhavas, which seem to be better brought out by females in Lasya and these Bhavas beautify the fair sex.



There are Twenty such Bhavas,Dance Expressions, and they are divided into Three: -

1. Shariraj or which keeps connection with the Sharira or body.
2. Ayatnaj or which springs from itself or spontaneous.
3. Swabhava or which arises from ones nature.

They are classified into three: -
- Hava
- Bhava
- Hela

- Hava:
When the eyes and eyebrows are changed as a result of Bhava (mentioned below) in a mans mind, it is called Hava.

- Bhava:
It is the first passionate yearning in a human mind by Raja and Tama Gunas. There is no outward expression of this Bhava but it does its work inwardly.

- Hela:
It exists when there is a linking of Shringara with Hava.These three seem to be of vulgar type

There are seven such Bhavas.

1. Shobha: When the limbs are influenced softly by the desire of Saundarya, Vasua, Tarunya and Priya-Milan, it is Shobha.

2. Kanti: When the Shobha Bhava is exclusively covered by passion, it is called Kanti.

3. Madhurya: Not to be greatly influenced by Bhava is Madhurya.

4. Dwipti: The spreading or Vistara of Kanti Bhava is Dwipti.

5. Pragalvya: When astonishment is not seen.

6. Audarya: To keep Prashraya always intact in every condition is Audarya.

7. Dhairya: The Bhava of patience is Dhairya.

There are ten Swabhavika Bhavas.

1. Leela: To imitate the lover by voice and physical care. The famous example of Leela can be from Ras Leela. In that, Radha imitates Lord Krishna and taking his flute dances the dance of Krishna.

2. Vilasa: The sudden and beautiful change in the expressions of the body and voice as a result of meeting with the loved ones is called Vilasa.

3. Vichchitti: When there is a great change by dress and Kanti is influenced thereby, it is called Vichchitti.

4. Vibhrama: To wear a garment of a particular portion of the body on a different part of body in haste.

5. Kilinkichita: To depict Krodha, Asru and Harsha together is Kilinkichita.

6. Mottayita: To be merged in the Bhava of the beloved when his name or something pertaining to him is mentioned.

7. Kuttamita: To show false anger when the lover has come.

8. Bibboka: To behave badly with the lover even when Abhimana does not exist.

9. Lalita: To arrange the limbs and their movements gracefully.

10. Vihrita: The Bhava of silence due to constraint even after meeting with the lover.