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Paintings > Hindu > Exalted Dancer
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Exalted Dancer

Exalted Dancer

Exalted Dancer

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Watercolor on Paper
Artist: Navneet Parikh

10.5" X 14.0"
Item Code:
HH69
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$425.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Exalted Dancer

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Viewed 3661 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Here is a dancer portrayed in an exalted dance posture. Clad in deep maroon with occasionally glistening gold against a dark background, her form seems to burst like light cleaving abyssal darkness of night. The artist seems to discover his metaphor for his theme not in the form of the dancer alone but in the entire setting. As darkness seems to dissolve in the painting and emerge as light taking human form, in the dance dissolves the body and emerges the bhava - sentiment. The bhava, with which bursts the dancer's face and the entire being, is the essence of Indian dance. As the Indian philosophy sees a dance, dancer's body, a mere instrument of dance, is the formless mass, which dissolves in dance and first is born motion, then emotion and then the sublime conscience, and after this individual conscience merges into the cosmic conscience, the dancer transcends beyond oneself, and in her cosmos seeks to reveal itself. This divine magnification of an act of body – the body melting into the act and in the act the cosmic conscience transpiring, is dance's ultimate. In a dance, this stage does not immediately arrive. Initial moves lead to interaction, and before the cosmic secrets unfold, she has to resolve questions facing her. Now the mind doesn't agitate and serene quiescence leads to ultimate bliss. Difficult is neither the ultimate bliss nor interacting entities; difficult is the questioning mind and resolving questions that unfold cosmos and all its secrets. From here the take-off begins and the dancer transcends beyond her, beyond the material plane and unites with cosmic conscience.

The artist has captured his dancer when she has yet to take-off and resolve the riddle. The earthly plane is left far behind and resolution is to be sought from above - from the void, which does not easily answer, or rather reverts all questions to seek answers within. In between her two hands is the questioning mind not to easily sate. 'Have you an answer?' or something like, asks the left hand gesture. The question is answered but the mind does not concede, and right hand passes it as 'so what?' The movement of feet, facial demeanour, bhava in eyes, all correspond to the questioning mind. Exaltation on her face reveals her inner being - sublimation and ultimate delight towards which she is heading. This divine dimension and cosmic width apart, in the course of time have developed some major stylistic variations of Indian dance, mainly, Kathaka, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Mohini Attam and Kuchipudi. Kathaka is interpretive in nature, Bharatanatyam and Odissi, ritual, and Mohini Attam and Kuchipudi, secular. Lately, all forms have become illustrative, illustrating a text, legend, poem or concept. Kathaka was basically a narrative form interpreting a katha - legend, and achieving sublimation through it. Though all these dance forms have several similar moves and features rendering it difficult to determine the class of a dance by a single posture, the dance form portrayed here is more like the interpretive Kathaka.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.


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