Nritta, Nṛtta: 17 definitions


Nritta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Nṛtta can be transliterated into English as Nrtta or Nritta, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Nṛtta (नृत्त, “dance”) refers to ‘that which is made up of karaṇas and aṅgahāras’. It is one of the three aspects of abhinaya (“histrionic representation”), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Nṛtta is that form of dance which is void of flavour (rasa) and mood (bhāva).

Nṛtta and Nṛtya constitute as a separate art. The ordinary performance of a nācnī (nāc/nācanī?) (nautch-girl, bayadere) consists of alternate nṛtya , the former consisting of set dances with some special subject, and accompanied by varied gesture, the latter merely moving to and fro, marking time with the feet, and so forth. Nṛtta is here dismissed with a merely negative definition, as the object of the Abhinaya Darpaṇa is to explain how to express by gesture definite themes.

According to Dhanaṃjaya (“Daśarūpa” I, 14) speaking of Nṛtya and Nṛtta,

“the former, gesture-with-meaning is high (mārga), the latter popular (deśī).”

Source: Indian Classical Dances: Techniques of classical dances

Nritta the rhythmic element is composed of only pure dance and with feature striking and elegant poses, but have no expressional meaning and symbolism. There is only physical creativity but no story, theme or narrative. Even the mudras become just as a piece of decoration.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)

Nṛtta refers to “pure dance” as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—In Bharatanatyam, the use of nṛtta is found in basic movements and a few dance pieces; nṛtya is seen in expressional dancing pieces and nāṭya is found in the dance-dramas of classical dances. According to the Abhinayadarpaṇa, verse 15, “that (dance) which does not relate to any psychological state (bhāva) is called nṛtta”.

Nṛtta is that form of dance which does not have flavour (rasa) and mood (bhāva). Even the gestures, rhythm and limb movements do not convey any specific mood, meaning or message. It is a form of pure movement in dance, which does not express any mood or sentiment. It is full of poses, stances, leaps, turns, twists and intricate foot work. It is full of rhythm and motion that create joy and ecstasy in the dancer as well as the spectator. The expression of emotion in nṛtta is negligible. Nṛtta is movement in rhythm with the feet and the hands. In Bharatanatyam, the techniques of the aḍavus and the rhythmic dance patterns that are included in alārippu, jatisvaram, varnam, kīrtanam, and tillāna come under the category of nṛtta or pure dance.

Nṛtta is of three kinds: viṣama, vikaṭa and laghu. Viṣama consists of many acrobatic feats like rope dancing, and intricate foot work. Vikaṭa consists of movements of a person in dress that strikes awe and terror in the hearts of the viewers. Laghu consists of graceful upward tripping and movements.

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (natya)

Nṛtta (नृत्त) or Nṛttahasta refers to one of the three types of “hand gestures” (Hasta) (in Indian Dramas), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—The hasta-mudrās are very essential to denote some particular action or state in dancing and these mudrās are formed with the help of hands and fingers. The practice of these nṛttahastas is strictly prohibited in sickness of body, in old age, in fear, drunk and anxiety. There are thirty kinds of nṛttahastas as mentioned in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing Dramatic plays (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

1) Nṛtta (नृत्त) or Nṛttamūrti refers to one of the twenty-three forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Pūrvakāmikāgama (pratimālakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala): first and foremost among the Mūlāgama. The forms of Śiva (e.g., Nṛtta) are established through a process known as Sādākhya, described as a five-fold process of creation.

2) Nṛtta is also listed among the eighteen forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Kāraṇāgama (pratimālakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala): the fourth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgamas.

3) Nṛtta is also listed among the twelve forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Suprabhedāgama: the tenth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgamas.

4) Nṛtta is also listed among the eighteen forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Śilparatna (twenty-second adhyāya): a technical treatise by Śrīkumāra on Śilpaśāstra.

Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Nṛtta (नृत्त) or Śuddhanṛtta refers to “Saukhya karma” (classical dance) and represents one of the various upacāras (offerings), in pūjā (ritual worship), as defined in the Śaivāgamas.—Pūjā consists of offering hospitality, in the form of water to wash the feet, to drink, water for ablutions, offering a bath, new clothes, fragrant unguents, fragrant flowers and ornaments, food and so on. Each step in the pūjā process is called “saṃskāra” and each offering is called “upacāra” [viz., Nṛtta].

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Nṛtta (नृत्त) or Nṛtya refers to “dancing”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 5), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If there should be both lunar and solar eclipses in one month, princes will suffer both from dissensions among their own army and from wars. [...] If the eclipses should fall in the lunar month of Phālguna, the people of Vaṅga, of Āśmaka, of Avantikā and the Mekalās will be afflicted with disease; dancers [i.e., nṛtta-jña], food crops, chaste women, bow-makers, the Kṣatriyas and ascetics will also suffer”.

Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Some Pearls from the Fourth Chapter of Abhinavabhāratī Table of Contents

Nṛtta (नृत्त) is nothing but dance made up of karaṇas and aṅgahāras. Nṛtta employs all the aṅgas and upāṅgas.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nṛtta (नृत्त).—Dancing, acting, a dance, pantomime, gesticulation; नृत्तादस्याः स्थितमतितरां कान्तम् (nṛttādasyāḥ sthitamatitarāṃ kāntam) M.2.7; नृत्यं मयूरा विजहुः (nṛtyaṃ mayūrā vijahuḥ) R.14.69; Meghadūta 34,36; R.3.19.

Derivable forms: nṛttam (नृत्तम्).

See also (synonyms): nṛtya.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nṛtta (नृत्त).—m.

(-ttaṃ) Dancing. E. nṛt to dance, aff. kta.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nṛtta (नृत्त).—[neuter] dance.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nṛtta (नृत्त):—[from nṛt] n. dancing, acting, gesticulation, [Atharva-veda; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa]; etc.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nṛtta (नृत्त):—(ttaṃ) 1. n. Dancing.

[Sanskrit to German]

Nritta in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Nṛtta (ನೃತ್ತ):—

1) [noun] a kind of dance presentation having rhythmic movement of limbs without words and dramatic moods or sentiments.

2) [noun] a female dancer.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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