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Mudras and Rasas (An introduction to classification of emotions/moods that are portrayed in Indian Classical Dance Form)

The most important feature of Indian dance is the use of Mudras and Rasas. Mudras are hand gestures which are used to express a vast array of emotions and experiences, like – nature, love, anger, sorrow ,hatred, joy & other human emotions.

Rasas denote the primary emotional content of the moment being emoted by the dancer. The Navarasas or nine emotions give dance a completeness that allows the dancer and the rasikas (audience) to experience the full beauty and meaning of the lyrics and the movements portrayed.

The rasas are Sringaram – Attractiveness, Hāsyam – Laughter, Raudram – Fury, Kāruṇyam – Compassion, Bībhatsam – Disgust, Bhayānakam – Horror, Vīram – Heroic mood, Adbhutam – Wonder, and Shantam – Peace

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An evening of solo presentations in Odissi by Sudha, a senior disciple of Smt. Madhavi Mudgal at the India International Centre, Delhi on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – 6:30pm until 8:00pm

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Mangalacharan : Pada Bandey

The dancer offers flowers to mother earth who is the source of all life and activities. She pays her obeisance to Lord Ganesha, who is the son of Gauri. He is the supreme amongst all gods and destroys all obstacles.

This piece concludes with a Trikhandi pranaam or the three-fold salutation to the gods, the gurus and the rasikas.

The poem is composed by Kavi Chandra Kalicharan Pattanaik; the music by Balakrishna Das.

The dance has been choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra.

 
 
 

Mangalacharan by Sudha
Paying obeisance

 
 
 
 
 
 

Mangalacharan by Sudha
With Guru Madhavi Mudgal and all eminent accompanists

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hamsadhwani Pallavi
A visual representation of musical motifs Pallavi means to ‘elaborate’, ‘to flower’. Music and movement built up gradually into complex patterns through sequences arranged in an aesthetic order.

This pallavi is based on Raag Hamsadhwani, in Adi taal, 8 maatras where the 5 kinds of jaatis have been played with.

Choreographed by guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, Music composed by Pt Bhubaneshwar Mishra.
 
 
 

Hamsadhwani Pallavi by Sudha
Sringaram : Face as beautiful as a Full Moon

 
 
 
 
 
 

Hamsadhwani Pallavi by Sudha
The Ghungroos and the movements

 
 
 
 
Yahi Madhava – An expressional piece from the 12th Century Sanskrit work, Geeta Govinda written by Jayadeva in the praise of lord Krishna.

In this piece Radha is depicted as a hurt and jealous nayika. She has awaited her beloved’s arrival all night long. Krishna finally arrives at the first streak of dawn. Radha notices the telltale marks of Krishna’s nocturnal dalliance with the other woman: His eyes heavy with sleep and languor, his lips darkened with another’s kajal. His wily excuses are to of no avail. She is angered and bids him to leave her alone.

Choreography by Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra; music composed by Pt Bhubaneshwar mishra.

 
 

Yahi Madhava by Sudha
I am not happy with your act

 
 
 

 
 

Yahi Madhava by Sudha
I cannot bear to hear these words

 
 
 
 
 

Yahi Madhava by Sudha
Bhayanakam : I fear. I am afraid.

 
 
 
 

Yahi Madhava by Sudha
I do not like it. You betrayed me

 
 
 
 
 

Yahi Madhava by Sudha
I do not want to see you. Do not chase me now

 
 
 
 
 

Jhinjhoti Pallavi
In this pallavi the various Alasa kanya postures taken from Orissan sculpture, are woven in, highlighting the musical pauses. An unusual Jhoola taala of 6 maatraas is used for this composition.

This piece is choreographed by Smt Madhavi mudgal and music composed by Shri Madhup Mudgal.
 
 
 

Jhinjhoti Pallavi by Sudha
The beauty that I have

 
 
 

Jhinjhoti Pallavi by Sudha
The beautiful bird on my arms

 
 
 

Jhinjhoti Pallavi by Sudha
Yet another beautiful statue on the temple

 
 
 

Jhinjhoti Pallavi by Sudha
Yet another beautiful statue on the temple

 
 
 
Leela nidhi
 
Written by Kavisurya Baladeva Ratha, Leela nidhi is a champu, an excerpt from the Kishorachandrananda collection, where each poem comes one after the other in an alphabetical form, following the 34 consonants of the Oriya alphabets. Every line of a particular champu starts with the same alphabet. Leela nidhi uses the consonant ‘la’.

Radha tired of Krishna’s pranks, comes pleading to him and says: ‘oh Lord! The creator of all leelas, where have you hidden my saree? People laugh at me and I am bereft of dignity. I have accepted you as my dear one. Come adorn me with jewellery, and decorate my forehead again. My lord I melt with shame. Please give my saree back!’

Choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra and music composed by Pt Bhubaneshwar Mishra.
 
 
 

Leela nidhi by Sudha
Sringaram : This looks beautiful and I shall adorn it

 
 
 
 

Leela nidhi by Sudha
Where have you hidden my saree?

 
 
 
 

Leela nidhi by Sudha
This looks beautiful on me

 
 
 
 

Leela nidhi by Sudha
na baba na, I cannot

 
 
 
 

Leela nidhi by Sudha
The naughtiness in the walk, you can see

 
 
 
 
Moksha
 
The culmination of a formal Odissi repertoire, moksha symbolizes the blissful state of transcendence in the merging of the dancer and the dance, as a symbol of the merging of the self with the cosmic self. It ends with a chant from the Vedas that celebrates the harmonious relationship between man and nature
 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
I pray

 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
It is liberation, dance is moksha

 
 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
Dedication to the almighty of dance

 
 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
My obeisance

 
 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
My obeisance

 
 
 
 

Moksha by Sudha
A penance in padmasana, My obeisance

 
 

Thanks to Guru Madhavi Mudgal and her student dancer Diya Sen, for sharing the details of the performance.. I loved Sudha’s performance and I am sure as she progresses, she will be one of the finest in Odissi.
 
 
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