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Photographer's Note

Another photograph of the odissi performance. For an explanation of the story, please see my previous post. Also, take a look at the other pictures in my Odissi theme at right. I know that's not such a helpful note, but most of my explanations are on the other posts.

Here, two dancers exemplify Odissi's inherent symmetry; however, the identical poses are countered by the different colours of the saris. One aspect of Indian dance I wanted to point out through this photo is the use of mudras, or hand expressions. Here, both dancers have what I think is a simhamukha mudra, or a lion-faced hand gesture on their right hands. This is particularly relevant in the story of Durga, since the lion is traditionally the vahan, or the transport vehicle, if you will, of the Goddess. Interestingly, the word vahan also means "shield" in Armenian! Lions are always associated with strength - the shakti - so perhaps that may have something to do with the shield. In fact, carrying on my previous feminist discussion, the word shakti, or power is almost always associated with the feminine, in Hindu mythology. Also visible here are the Ghungroo, or foot-jingles, otherwise known as payal or nupur. Those are standard instruments of Indian classical dance, since they bring the viewers' notice to the intricate foot movements (especially in Kathak).

On a less cultural note, I noticed it's always best to set the exposure manually for stage performances - I used 1/40" and F5.6. Otherwise, the meter does all sorts of monkey business.

satyakki, Aditi has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Biswaroop Mukherjee (bmukherjee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 218 W: 72 N: 211] (1516)
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