Omkara Story – Jugalbandhi between Bharatanatyam & Kathakali

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jugalbandhi-between-bharatanatyam-and-kathakaliLive Indian Classical Dance Performance on the occasion of Shri Mataji’s 85th Birthday celebrations.

Chhindrwara, India


A jugalbandhi (also spelled jugalbandi) is a performance, in Indian classical music, featuring two solo musicians. The word jugalbandhi means, literally, “entwined twins.” The duet could be either vocal or instrumental.

Often, the musicians will play different instruments, as for example the famous duets between sitarist Ravi Shankar and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan, who popularized the format with their performances of the 1970s. More rarely, the musicians (either vocalists or instrumentalists) may be from different traditions (i.e. Carnatic and Hindustani). What defines jugalbandhi is that the two soloists be on an equal footing. While any Indian music performance may feature two musicians, a performance can only be deemed a jugalbandhi if neither is clearly the soloist and neither clearly an accompanist. In jugalbandhi, both musicians act as lead players, and a playful competition often ensues between the two performers. [1]


Bharatanatyam is a classic dance form originating in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India and is also the National Dance of India. This dance form is a 20th century reconstruction of Cathir, the art of temple dancers. Cathir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms. Bharatanatyam is usually accompanied by the classical Carnatic music. [2]

Bharatanatyam is considered to be a fire-dance – the mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human body. It is one of the five major styles (one for each element) that include Odissi (element of water), and Mohiniattam (element of air). The movements of an authentic Bharatanatyam dancer resemble the movements of a dancing flame. [2]


Kathakali is a highly stylized classical Indian dance-drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country’s southern state of Kerala during the 16th century AD, approximately between 1555 and 1605, and has been updated over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming. [3]




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8 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?

  • Chavdar Sotirov
    Nov 12, 2009
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  • pooyan
    Nov 12, 2009
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    beautiful Indian dance, thanks for sharing.



  • Isha
    Nov 12, 2009
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    Very beautiful and graceful performance by both the Yoginis. 🙂



  • Karan Tiwari
    Nov 13, 2009
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    Mesmerizing performance and beautiful vibrations. I think the jugal bandi is between Bharatnatyam and Kathak (not Kathakali). Kathak is a classical dance form of india which comes form three main Gharanas ( a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers by lineage and/or apprenticeship, and by adherence to a particular musical style) namely Lucknow, Jaipur and Banaras. This dance form has its origins in north India as opposed to Kathakali which comes from the south.



  • Rajalakshmi
    Nov 17, 2009
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    Yes, it is a Kathak and Bharatnatyam Jugalbandi. It is not Kathakali as the title displays. But a lovely performance, indeed.

    Can we look forward to a Kathakali and Bharatnatyam jugalbandi in the near future… maybe?! That would be something very interesting, indeed!



  • Poonam
    Aug 11, 2010
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    It was a lovely performance! 🙂



  • bindya
    Dec 29, 2012
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    beautiful Indian dance, thanks for sharing.



  • kanu
    Jan 16, 2015
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    awesome performance by the two



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