This is a figure of a dakini - a celestial dancing female who is supposed to help the adept to reach his goal via the tantrika path. This beautiful figure made in brass, has intricate work on jewellery, attire, hair etc. This tall, lithe figure is of slender built. She wears a hip hugging skirt that flare as it reaches up to her knees. Her long torso is bare. Like most celestial figures, she wears an unstitched fold of cloth to cover the breasts, but barely so. Heavy ornaments, including a girdle, armbands, necklaces and long, hanging earrings adorn the figure. The figure demonstrates characteristics of the Mauryan period. Here, she is caught in the movement of dance, one hand raised and the other bent in synchrony with the curve of the hip. One of her legs balances her on the pedestal and the other is lifted. No sculptor could have captured the rhythm and movements graphically without being familiar with the art of dancing.
The dancer has an elaborate hairstyle and between the head and the hair do is a delicate tiara. The tribhanga position that she stands in is the most graceful position. The placing of her right hand is balanced compositionally by her odhini that starts from the skirt and twirls around her left hand.
The pedestal matches up to the beauty of the figure. The inverted lotus has a flat platform for the dancer. That something as hard as metal can be moulded into a delicate item is itself a feat.
Text created by Renu Rana.
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