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Ras Lila Dance

The Ras Lila or Rasa dance is part of the traditional story of Krishna described in Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavata Purana and literature such as the Gita Govinda, where he dances with Radha and her sakhis. The Indian classical dance of Kathak evolved from the ‘Raslila of Braj and Manipuri Classical Dance’ (Vrindavan) also known as Natwari Nritya, which was revived in 1960s by Kathak dancer, The term, rasa meaning aesthetic and Lila meaning act, play or dance is a concept from Hinduism, which roughly translates to “play (Lila) of asthetics (rasa),” or more broadly as “Dance of Divine Love”.

 Performance—the performance of Ras Lila is generally performed in a special enclosure in front of the temple called a Nat Mandap.  There are five Ras Lilas that deal with the divine love of Radha and Krishna.  These are: Maharas, Vasantras, Kunjaras, Nityaras and Divaras.

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