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The dancer leapt, swayed, mimed, smiled, grimaced…People were watching mesmerized.
There was the expressive dancer, the mellifluous singer, the booming percussionist (the instrument known as mridangam) and a very Indian-sounding violin (suitably adapted from the western one).There was an upturned mud pot like instrument called Ghatam. An astonishing nasal sounding thing called Morsin, a tanpura(a very subtle stringed accompaniment) and an instrument sounding like a rattle with tiny bells(kind of like the tiny bells that the dancer wore as anklets).The entire crew sounding wonderfully harmonious.
The Bharatnatyam dancer portrayed everything using her made up face, henna-decorated hands, and bejeweled feet under the spotlight. Her ornaments catching light seeming like sparks and glowing embers at times. Sweating profusely she exhibited a rare stamina and poise. The staccato beat and her fingers twisted, expressions flowing fast sometimes and gently other times, known as mudras. Her forehead was adorned with patterns. She was covered with glittering jewelry .Her ears, neck, arms, waist glistened. She wore an antiquated version of the Indian sari-bright lemon yellow with a red and gold embroidered border.
There were fresh flowers arranged like a halo around her head. Her long plait swished. Intertwined with fresh jasmine buds…
It was nothing like anyone had seen before. Her kohl lined eyes were irresistibly hypnotic.
These dances were based on mythology and folk tales. She manifested them all with grace. Those mudras were supposed to denote peacocks, parrots, fish, gods, demons, lotus flowers...Fascinating…
Continue Reading: The Graces