Thought behind the thought:
We communicate so much with our hands. In fact we have even come up with an entire sign language which people use to communicate effectively with the hearing impaired. A lot of times when conversation is of an engaging kind these hands just start their magic to emphasize everything that's being said. Yet in a contemplative frame of mind they join in prayer and seem to draw energy through them.Hands play such an important role in non verbal communication! In fact, after the eyes, which are probably the most effective medium of communicating emotions and intentions, it is the hands that convey a lot of what is not said verbally, to the other person. The movements of the hand, the way they are held, even the fingers moving in a certain way, all combine to communicate the thoughts of person without speaking a single word.
About the Art
Indian classical dance uses of hands to explore their full potential as visual communicators. Hast-mudras (Hand gestures) form a language in their own right while performing 'Abhinaya'(expressive technique).They help the dancer to express almost anything and everything. Natya Shastra emphasises the importance of hand gestures in the following quotation :
"Yato hastastato drishti"..."Where the hand is, the eyes follow"
"Yato drishtistato manaha"..."Where the eyes go, the mind follows"
"Yato manahastato bhava"..."Where the mind is, there is the expression"
"Yato bhavastato rasa"..."Where there is expression, there is mood/flavour (i.e., appreciation of art)
Shambhavi Dandekar, a prolific Kathak performer, versatile choreographer and a successful teacher expresses the nava-rasas , as seen in this series of photographs, with hand gestures and facial expressions that are the echoes of the mind!
Shambhavi took her lessons in Kathak from her mother, Guru Maneesha Sathe, a renowned Kathak exponent and her advanced training in Indian rhythm (laya-taal) under Pad. Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar .She maintains the solid base of tradition, training (taleem), authenticity and dignity in her dance, while also trying out 'fusion' with a dash of new thought, technique and look. She hopes to spread her love for Kathak, to the new generation and connect the past and future through her scintillating performances and her passionate teaching.
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