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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Indian Classical Dance Form- Sattriya

Sattriya Dance

Sattriya dance in modern-form was established by the Vaishnava Saint Sankaradeva in the 15th century AD in Assam

The art form derives its name from the Vaishnava monasteries known as 'Sattara', where it was primarily practiced. It finds mention in the ancient text 'Natya Shashtra' of sage Bharat Muni. It is inspired by the Bhakti Movement.

Some of the hallmarks of the Sattriya dance include:

  • The dance form was an amalgamation of various dance forms prevalent in Assam, mainly Ojapali and Devdasi.

  • The focus of the Sattriya recitals is to own the devotional outlook of dance and narrates mythological stories of Vishnu.


  • The dance is generally performed in the group by male monks known as 'Bhoktas' as part of their daily rituals or even on festivals.

  • Khol (drum), Cymbals (Manjira), and Flute from the major escorting Implements of this dance form. The songs are the composition by Shankaradeva known as 'Borgeets'.


  • Costumes are worn by male dancers- 'Dhoti' and 'Paguri = turban'. While females wear traditional Assamese jewelry, 'Ghuri' and 'Chador' made in Pat Silk. Waistline cloth is worn by both men and women.

  • In modern times, Sattriya dance has matured into two separate streams- the Gayan-Bhayanar Nach and the Kharmanar Nach.

  • Ankia Naat: It is a type of Sattriya, it involves play or musical-drama. It was originally written in an Assamese-Maithili mix language called Brajavali. Another related form is 'Bhaona', which is based on stories of Lord Krishna.
Fig: Sattriya dance




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