Of feminity and grace – Saathriya

Saathriya dancers performing in Kochi, Kerala

Indian classical dance has eight distinct styles. Although each of these forms appears to be similar to the not-so-learned, these dance styles have certain characteristic elements that distinguish themselves from each other.

Saathriya dancers performing in Kochi, Kerala

Saathriya dancers performing in Kochi, Kerala. Photo: Sreekanth T R

An interesting example could be the Saathriya. The classical dance form of Assam was introduced by a saint Sankaradeva to propagate Vaishnavism.  Like many ancient art forms, Saathriya was initially confined to the premises of a monastery or Saathra.

Fear not, if you are reminded of Mohiniyaattam, Manipuri or any other dance form. Most Indian classical dance styles share numerous similarities. However, this style of dance is a unique blend of flexibility, folk-dance movements, speed and laasya (or grace).

The music for Saathriya has an interesting blend of native tunes and lyrics are often inspired by ancient Indian mythological tales.