After the demon ‘Tripurasur’ was killed by Lord Shiva, he danced in rage i.e. Tandava. Then to pacify and please him, Goddess Uma performed a soft and Shringarik dance, which is called ‘Lasya’. Goddess Uma taught this dance to Usha, the daughter of Daitya Banasur. She popularized this dance form in Vrindavan.
The dance is extremely soft in movements and shringarik in expressions and this is performed more effectively by female dancers. The Raas Nritya of Mathura, Halisak of South India, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Oddissi, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi etc, which are performed today in various regions owe their origin to ‘Lasya’.
Three types of Lasya Nritya are practised today :
- ‘Vikat Lasya’: The dance form in which Laya, Taal, Bhavas are exhibited while performing, is called ‘Vikat Lasya’.
- ‘Visham Lasya’ : By using ‘Bhramari’ through horizontal, circular and slanted movements, special footwork in Laya based dance, ‘Visham Lasya’ is performed.
- ‘Laghu Lasya’: By producing sound on earth through anklets and through Anchit Kunchit Padvinyas, ‘Laghu Lasya’ is performed.
In this dance, instruments with soft sound, high bass are used such as ‘Manjira’, ‘Flute’, ‘Ghunghroo’ (anklets), ‘Madal, ‘Khol, ‘Tabla’, ‘Tumburu’ etc.
The costumes used are extremely shringarik and attractive. The female dancers use Chunnatdar Dhoti, broad Waist Bandh and Patka. They also wear garlands of flowers in their hairs and Chunnis of bright and dark colours. The hands and neck are adorned with pearls and flowers.