Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beautiful Stance

One truth, several renditions... Photo: Courtesy The Hindu Photo Library

This picture (this is the best size I could find. Please obtain a copy of the Magazine for a better copy) was part of an article (in The Hindu Magazine) about the late danseuse Chandralekha. I admired her though I had seen very little of her work but this picture held my attention for a long time. Look at the 3rd lady from the right. Her form, to me, is perfect. Very good ara-mandi (half-seated stance). Look at the sharpness of her Hamsasya mudra, the curve of her spine. Notice that she doesn't lean forward or backward, but uses the suppleness of her spine to hold herself erect though in a smooth curve. Notice her feet on the ground - nearly perpendicular to each other. Her shin doesn't lean to the sides. Notice how her right wrist is held firmly in place although she looks at her other hand. Her abdomen is tucked in just right and notice the sinuous belt that she wears - goes perfectly well with the curves of her body. Her belly is sensuously visible over the belt (although not clear in this picture) and she holds herself without leaning forward or pushing her rear out back too much. Her neck is not too bent nor does it lean to the sides... I wonder who she is. So delicate and yet so powerful. I suppose the lady is well into her 70s (if she is still alive). Try blurring your eyes while seeing this picture and you will notice the flaws in the other postures and the correctness in hers. If anyone has any clue about her, please let me know. I would love to meet her. I salute her for managing a near perfect posture. Lord Nataraja would have been terribly pleased with her.


  1. Parvati10:14 PM

    There are many dancers in the present age like Srinidhi Rangarajan whose dance and person please any audience no end.

    # You have the heart of an eternal Rasika, enjoying all that is of the world, all that is in its eternal depths, in its invisible but reachable heights, and of course in the middle levels and the socalled superficialities.

    ...Such a demeanour would tire lazy me in a trice, but what the heck! - YOU enjoy, E! Not many do...:-)

  2. Wow Eroteme :) I must say you have an eye for dance! Of all those dancers only the one you wrote about has perfect posture! Its a pity we don't know who she is :)

  3. Dear P,
    There are danceuse all over the world who are delightfully graceful, but this one caught my eye recently. What I couldn't help notice is how the same thing is done so differently by all of them all at the same time!!! Rasika? Hmmm Well, the heart doesn't cease to beat, does it? :-) Oh! Give me one chance to host you at a dance performance (and it would be an intellectual and spiritual honour to have you by my side) and I am sure we would have you absorbed in the beauty of classical dance... :-)

    Dear S,
    :-) Isn't she amazing? A pity indeed... :-(

  4. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Hi Eroteme !

    Am i correct in thinking that you are a dancer i do not know you personally!

    Cause to appreciate the dance should be knowledgeable, right?

    oh yes, certain forms of dance definitely bring out the epitome of grace in a woman !



    btw out of context, the Darfur petition is not a hard copy, but a group that was created by me...we each have to pitch in , right?

  5. Dear Anon-U,
    Well, I didn't formally learn bharatanatyam. I was subjected to a lot of bullying by my sis, who did learn and considered it her birthright to enforce that on me!! :-D We had an offline argument about this post and she was of the opinion that the 1st lady from the right is also correct (of course, she lost the argument. I said I didn't learn b-natyam, not the nuances of debating!!). I have had a very bad childhood!!! :-D Some of it still lingers, but I am glad I learnt a bit from her. It does keep one graceful in movements/sensibilities and allowed me to be a critic (which is the easiest thing for me ;-).

    Knowing me personally is something not many people waste their time on!! I might not be a nice person to know ;-)

    I am not sure whether to appreciate a dance form, one needs to be knowledgeable. If I picked a lay person and showed them this picture and asked them who impressed them the most, I am sure they would pick one of them with their own individual explanations. I suppose it requires a heart for beauty and knowledge might help though not essential. If I have to go into the techniques and details, yes.

    So is this an online group or a Madras-residents group? Any way of getting the details? You could leave a comment about it and then delete it immediately. I would receive it and blog-readers wouldn't be distracted.

  6. hmmm..i dont know hwo the lady is,
    but the pic did capture me and i was looking at it, even before i read ur analysis, that lady's pose was what i found to be totally cpativating..and os i was gratfied to read ur post. :)
    nice one!

  7. Dear MR (funny calling an Ms. an Mr ;-)
    Glad you found it so. If you aren't a bharatnatyam danseuse then you just helped me with the point I made in response to Uma's comment...

  8. Classical dancers have such perfect femininity .. and you describe it so beautifully. You make her sound incredibly desireable ;)

  9. Dear S,
    When Uma wrote, I thought it would be last comment coming in for this post. Then the same thought gripped me after Mystic Rose's comment. I don't think I learn quickly... :-(
    Yes, indeed. They internalise the grace and flow of their art and it reveals itself in nearly every walk of life. There are exceptions (making me wonder "She learnt dance!?") but they are very few. Glad you liked the post. I don't make her sound desirable; she is desireable but more as an artist who display her art on her very self (unlike in other art forms).

  10. see the man's stance!!!

    saw the comments you left on my first few posts :) i was very much into interior design those days. nowadays i hardly find time with my other creative pursuits.

    yes, dad has definitely had a great time with baby me. and me too :) and you are definitely right about courage vs clarity. maybe i was looking for the word clarity then!

    thanks eroteme!

  11. Dear S,
    What about the man? I don't quite like his stance. His neck is too craned, the mudra of his right hand is not consciously constructed, his legs seem to be pointing in the same direction, his hip and derriere are too strained.
    Interior design, eh! Neat. I love planning and designing houses (much to my mother's irritation). I used to spend hours with design mags doing and re-doing designs... Time is such a criminal which disallows one, itself...
    Glad we agree on the word! You are welcome (though I am not sure what you are thanking me for!)... :-)

  12. yes, his stance is rather funny! i thanked you for the right word!!!!

    yes, these comments come to my email so i reply promptly! besides i was too lazy to go to the posts you commented on and then reply. plus i didn't think you'd go back there to see if i'd replied :)) now let me read your new post..