By Elizabeth A. Hanley
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Additional info for Asian Dance, 2nd Edition (World of Dance)
It emphasizes physical and poetic beauty, along with sensuousness, and originated in northern India. Here, two students of the famous Kathak guru Rohini Bhate perform the dance. 32 This, too, is a metaphor for bhakti devotees—the longing for union with the divine is the general theme represented by Krishna and the gopis as well as Krishna and Radha. indd 49 12/11/09 3:17:15 PM 50 ASIAN DANCE KATHAKALI: DRAMA DANCE OF KERALA The region of Kerala is a long, green, narrow strip of land on the western side of southern India.
Melody provides mood and, in the case of Indian music, indicates time of day, temperature, and season through the tonality of its ragas (similar to the West’s keys, major or minor modes). At music concerts and on occasion at dance recitals, one can see listeners using their hands in a system devised to keep track of the form of time specific to a piece of music. indd 51 12/11/09 3:17:16 PM 3 Dance in Southeast Asia Traditional Indian dance predominantly featured the superhuman beings that were the mythological center of Hindu civilization.
In the early 1970s, she established Mandala, a dance center in Elliot’s Beach in Chennai. Though the style she taught was based on Bharata natyam, her methods incorporated yoga and kalarippayattu, a Dravidian martial art from Kerala. indd 46 12/11/09 3:17:13 PM India: The Divine Dance of Life and Death 47 purists but exalted by the international dance community. Although she was sometimes compared to Martha Graham for her originality, Chandralekha rejected the concept that she was simply a part of the modern dance movement of the time.