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Monsoon Dance

Indian dancer during a performance at the Cazard in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Monsoon Dance

...Rains denuded the flowers of their petals, therefore on abandoning the petal-less lotuses the honeybees, solicitous of nectar and desirous to swarm the new born peacock-coloured cestuses, buzzing mellifluously they are muddle-headedly swarming on the circular fanlike plumages of peacock, that are twitch-dancing in the rain... Kalidas (1st century B.C.)


The peacock and monsoon has been the favourite motif of folk and classical arts in Indian subcontinent. Miniature paintings representing the raags and raaginis such as malhar, vasant (spring) and madhu-madhavi depict the peacock accompanying the nayika (Heroine).

Nātyaśāstra (attributed to muni Bharata) and Abhinaya Darpana, treatises on classical dance styles, pay much attention to the portrayal of the bird. In Kathak, 31 single and 27 combined hand gestures indicate the peacock, also evident in the combination of kapitha and sola padma in Bharatnatyam.

The hand gestures called hamsasya shows a peacock in Kathakali, while in Odissi, the bird is expressed by combining the hand gestures as kapitha and ala padma.


In this conceptualized dance presentation some of the very traditional and popular melodies are rendered, as well as some new compositions to depict and celebrate the heritage of monsoon and the peacock...


With Namrata Rai (Dance), Deepak Bhatt (Dance), Udai Mazumdar (Concept, Story, Tabla and Music Composition), Mujtaba Hussain (Bamboo Flute),Mahua Mukherjee (Vocal, Narration and Harmonium), Elisabeth Schintzig, Beth Bertchy and Filomena Bianculli (Stage Art)


(excerpt from the performance program)

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Taken on October 25, 2008