Drishti Bhed: Eye movements in Indian Classical Dance

In Indian Classical Dance, Eye movement has been known as Drishti Bhed.

The eyes are not only an important part of the body but it is also crucial in dance. Expressions are significant in dance and without eye movement, it can’t be achieved.

Big Beautiful eyes increase the beauty of a person. The same way eye movements make the dance more beautiful and expressive.

Eyes show different expressions in dance-like compassion, anger, fear, rage, fury, shame, love, etc.

Nandikeshwar has explained 8 types of eye movements (Dristi Bhed) in Abhinaya Darpan (Performing Text) –

  1. Sum Drishti
  2. Aalokit Drishti
  3. Sachi Dristi
  4. Pralokit Drishti
  5. Milit Drishti
  6. Ullokit Drishti
  7. Anuvrit Drishti
  8. Avlokit Drishti
  • Sum Drishti: Looking straight without even blinking eyes is known as Sum Dristi that is used for the theatrical debut, wonder, asking someone, etc.
  • Aalokit Drishti: By looking with wide-open eyes and turn the pupils around is known as Aalokit Dristi that is used to indicate all the things or to show the wheel etc.
  • Sachi Drishti: Looking from the corner of the eyes is Sachi Drishti which is used to indicate something, to remember, etc.
  • Pralokit Drishti: Looking from one side to another side is Pralokit Drishti which is been used to show moving thing, special love, etc
  • Milit Drishti: Half-open and half-closed eyes are known as Milit Drishti. It is used at the time of greet, meditate, chant, etc.
  • Ullokit Drishti: Looking up and above is known as Ullokit Drishti which is used to show Flag, height, etc.
  • Anuvrit Drishti: Looking quickly up and down is Anuvrit and used to show anger in the eyes etc.
  • Avlokit Drishti: Looking down is Avlokit that is used to denote thoughts, looking at ownself, etc.

So eye movements are equally important as any other part of the body in dance. Eye movements are the indivisible element of Indian Classical Dance.

About the Author: – Neha Khunteta

She is a Kathak Artist and has been associated with it for more than 10 years and the founder of Kathak By Neha the best Kathak dance academy in Jaipur.

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