Music and dance


We deal here only with classical Indian music and two classical dances.

The reasons are simple: I could not understand light music (mainly music of films) of India at all and the chosen two dances give a good cross-section of what Indians express in their dances (at least we hope so).

As far as classical music is concerned, I was trying my best to understand it, to learn the basics about it, but I am afraid it is better for you to study this subject reading and listening to the sites I recommend you.

I attended two long sessions that start late afternoon and continue non-stop till next morning. I could enjoy short periods of the performance of the best musicians.

You may listen to short passages of live music in the web-site - Jukebox - classical 

I hope I shall be able to surprise you again, this time with the news that surely one of the best sites on Indian classical music is a Hungarian one: , the site of Calcutta Trio, led by Mr András Kozma. I met the Trio when I was posted to Calcutta and the Trio came for a training session as young Hungarians, enthusiasts of Indian music. I watched the rise of the group, have heard a lot of them, but realise only now that they must be the best – if not the only – foreign (for India) musicians, performing classical music on high level. And to my equally great surprise they proved to be excellent in building web-sites as well. If you take the trouble to study rimpa, you will be delighted to learn a lot from this comprehensive work. Let me congratulate Mr Kozma for both their achievement in performing with success such a foreign art and the top quality site.

I do not have to do more than to cite four more web-sites, all of the four containing several others. You may spend days in studying Indian music not leaving this circle of sites: , which is a member of “Indian Music Links – Webring”, - “Indian Classical Music Links” , (an e-commerce business site with Juke Box) > Indian Heritage > Music

        In case you just want to enjoy yourself listening to Indian music,

        click on


        Years have gone until the owner of a new Indian classical music site, Szabolcs   Tóth approached me, offering this site, the size of which is 108 pages, containing 25 interviews. I found the site fantastic and suggest for everyone who is really interested in studying the music of this wonderful country to treat it as textbook.
Here it is:


Among Indian classical dances Bharatya Natyam (Bharata Natya) deserves our best attention. This dance is now prevelant mainly in Tamil Nadu. It had royal and religious patronage for centuries, as the dance of great temples, performed by devadasis, or temple dancers. As all classical dances, Bharatya Natyam always portrays stories that Indian audience easily understands, following four ways of expression: posture of the body and gestures, spoken word (songs), costume and facial expression. When dancers perform this dance for foreign audience, the story to be performed is explained in advance, to make easier to follow.

The dance at first may prove to be strange, because it is performed without sharp movements, but once you get accustomed to the heavy motions of feet and body, to the beautiful gestures of hands and to the very expressive mimics of the dancer, you start appreciating the narrating skill and force of it.

Entirely different is Kathakali, the dance drama of another southern state, Kerala. The dance is based on events and episodes from the two great epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and used to be performed as an all night performance in temples. The costumes and the facial make-ups are just fantastic, complicated, colourful, heavy creations. To prepare a dancer’s mask lasts for around six hours. The dancers are selected in young age as ballet dancers in Europe and trained for years to learn the gestures and for being able to perform the dance for long hours. If you want to enjoy something very unusual and exciting make a point to see a Kathakali performance.

The best presentation of Kathakali I found in .

I just mention the names of three more classical dances of India: Kathak, Manipuri, Orissi.

You can study these dances and more in