ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

49. Mudra Fest, the Indian Classical Dances

Dr.Sruthi Bandopadhay
Manipuri Dance
1 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Janaki Rangarajan
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
3 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Kapila
Nangiarkoothu (Kerala)
4 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Nikolina Nikolaski
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
5 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Padmashree Ileana Citaristi
Odissi (Odisha)
6 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Pallavi Krishnan
Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
7 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Purva Dhanasree
Vilasini Natyam (Andhra Pradesh)
8 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
RLV Jolly Mathew
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
9 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Shila Mehta
Kathak (Nord India)
10 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Sreelakshmy Govardhanan
Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
11 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Sruthi Jayan
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
12 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)
Vijayalakshmi
Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
13 / 13
Mudra Festival 2013 (Trivandrum)

India is a charming Country as well a complex one. Beautiful and hard, sometimes difficult to appreciate.
Take for example the beautiful Indian Classical Dances. If you are lucky enough to be in Trivandrum in November you can get to know all the main classical dance traditions on India during the superb Mudra Festival in Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan.


The artists coming to perform during the week-long event are masters of their dance from different part of the Country. They speak different languages, wear different style of dress, eat different kind of food…still they share the same dance language, a rich treasure of body alphabet and themes and stories.
This past edition the dances presented were Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka), Mohiniyattam (Kerala), Odissi (Odisha), Manipuri (Manipur), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Vilasini Natyam (Andhra Pradesh), Kathak (Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan), Nangiarkoothu (Kerala) –see in gallery the images of the artists.

You can see two of them on stage every evening. And no doubt you are enchanted by the exact movements, the astonishing control of body and facial expression, the colorful dress and the synergy with the musicians.
Nevertheless don’t feel ashamed if at one point your eyes fall on your watch and you desire the performance to be shorter. The problem is that you can see what is going on, but you can’t understand –unless you are already familiar with Indian culture and dance.

The dancer always enacts a story, usually one from the ancient Purana relating gods. Dance is very dramatic, acting and dancing are glued together. It is difficult for you to share the emotions of the character on stage, since she is more than a mere individual human being, she is a manifestation of a universal idea, she is a goddess.
And then the body language is fixed and codified. When you will be an expert you will appreciate the dancer choice of hand gestures (hasta mudra), the improvised set of stories she/he select to underline a line of the sung song.
At the beginning you miss all these.


To enjoy the dance all you need to do is to shut down your western mindset that wants to understand and compare with dance forms you already know.
Let your soul dive in the beauty of the event. The artists on stage are trying hard to create beauty and harmony: they take care of every small detail, the movement of nostrils, eyebrows, the sound of the ankle-bells tuned with the percussions and the voice. Dancers, singers, musicians are improvising and tuning themselves, like an orchestra without a director. To lead is the emotion.
It would be good if you enquire about the story that is going to be staged before the event; it’s funny to guess what is going on and decode the movement, hand gestures and facial expressions.

 

Then you start to see the differences between one style of dance and the other and, one day, you will be at Mudra Festival oblivious of the mosquitos and the chatting going on between distracted spectators, you will be fully immersed in the Gods universe that is calling you on stage.

Credits

Images by Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The origin of Theatre

In the Natyashastra (II b.C. – II a.D.) the sage Bharata wrote a myth on the origins of theater, explaining why the actors are always looked down upon by the society.

Pattachitra, painting Oriya style

An old sari becomes a canvas, stones and plants are the colors in the ancient tradition of Pattachitra: a visit to Raghurajpur (Odisha) reveals the story and the secret of this beautiful art.

Two sides of India

Sethunath speaks of himself: a computer technician by destiny and Kathatali actor by passion.

Lakes of India

Photo-journey from north to south looking for the best Five Lakes in India, for a refreshing experience.

Music for your wrists!

What joy to be woman in India! Female ornaments are countless, starting from chudis, the colorful bracelets wore by women.

Torna Su