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Description - Classical Dance by Sonal Mansingh

Dance in India has been deemed sacred because of its innate capacity to visualise and actualise the deepest philosophical concepts through gestures, movements and the art of suggestion. Immediate collective transcendence is possible only through dance when the dancer disappears and melts away in the dance and when the audience is transported to the realm of 'rasa srishti', the pure aesthetic delight. Any attempt to transcribe and describe dance through words is bound to remain incomplete as dance is a visual art. In India it has sat atop a pyramid of various art forms which have had an oral and written history. As dance in India freely uses literary and poetic works taken from all vernacular languages, its repertory is rich beyond imagination. Vocal and instrumental music provides a constant accompaniment to translate ideas contained in these literary texts. Profusion of intricately carved sculptures on temple-walls have kept the forms alive even through dark periods of unsympathetic foreign rule. Dance has inspired a wealth of stone, metal and wood carvings, frescoes, murals and miniature paintings as well as textiles reflecting a panorama of dance movements. Special ornaments in gold, ruby, emerald, diamond or silver used by dancers have had a tradition of being crafted by hand. The art of decorating hair with different kinds of arrangements of flowers and fragrant leaves according to seasonal availability and suitability was specially taught as an additional accomplishment of a dancer. This book points at many such ideas and urges the reader to take a plunge in the ocean of ambrosial knowledge, which is called 'natya vidya'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9788183280679
ISBN-10: 8183280676
Format: Hardback
(230mm x 230mm x 16mm)
Pages: 102
Imprint: Wisdom Tree
Publisher: Wisdom Tree
Publish Date: 17-Jul-2007
Country of Publication: India

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Author Biography - Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh A master of Odissi and Bharatnatayam, and with a background of decades of training in Chhau (martial dance from Orissa) and Indian music, Sonal has made many original choreographies based on Indian mythology as well as on contemporary issues. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in India and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1992 and again with Padma Vibhushan in 2003. Sonal Mansingh thus becomes the first woman dancer in independent India to receive this high honour. Her work embraces both form and content.