Tãndava and Lãsya


Tãndava and Lãsya are terms that we come across very often in dance parlance.

It is believed that Lãsya was first introduced by Goddess Pãrvati , the consort of Lord Shiva as a counterpart of Tãndava , the dance taught by him to his pupil Tãndu.

Tãndava movements can be described as more of virile movements which includes forceful and vigorous movements where asLãsya comprises movements that are delicate, soft and graceful.


The sanskrit root ‘Las’ means to shine. So Lãsya relates to something beautiful, shining, decorating, etc and hence more referred to as a feminine type of dance. All the ancient treatise on Dance talk about Lãsya and Lãsyangas (another term for Lãsya mentioned in Natyashastra, Nrittaratnavali,etc) and have described them to be performed by the women that revolve around the emotion of love.

Every dance style in India in one way or the other finds its roots in the Lasyangas. Solo dance styles like , Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Mohiniattam and others resemble Lãsya in terms of the mode of presentation as well as themes portrayed.


Tãndava as mentioned earlier consists of the powerful and strong movements that include the jumps, whirls and leaps. Nãtya Shãstra has one full chapter on Tãndava Lakshana – Description of Class Dance which consists the 108 Karanas, Angaharas, Rechakas, etc.

Tãndava immediately brings to our mind the exotic dance of Shiva. Nandikeshwara describes the dance of Shiva (the Cosmic Dancer) as being depicted in seven forms called the Tãndavas, the vigorous, masculine, eternal dance which depicts the creation, preservance and dissolution of the universe.

The seven Tãndavas are Sandhya Tãndava ,Ananda Tãndava, Kali or Shakti Tãndava, Tripura Tãndava, Sati and Shiva Tãndava, Ardhanari Tãndava and Samhara Tãndava.