Elucidate the Karna and Angahgara components in context with classical Indian dances.

Published: May 1, 2016

Karna is a combined movement of the feet and the hands, which, though momentarily static, is a dynamic series of movements which culminates in a specific pose. Natya Shastra has described 108karnas, each comprising of movements of abstract dance. Each of the Karna comprises specific movement of foot, calf, thigh, knee, waist, chest, neck, arms, and hands. According to Bharata’s Natyashashstra, Karna is not a pose but the complete unit of dance movements. Karna is the most important primary unit of movement.
Angahara is the name of collective movements comprising several Karnas. When Shiva performs the Tandava, several Karnas are linked together to form a garland of dance poses and movements. These become the Angaharas, garlands of dance poses of Lord Hara (Shiva).

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