Nartaki - the classical danseuse
Dances the dance of love,
Bhakti! So pure!
The sweet overwhelming emotion
Intense love for the Supreme God!
When she dances bathed in divine light
A bright star is born
Sparkling and sprinkling the brilliance around!
Nartaki dances with delight
The divine melody,
The honey-coated voice so soothing,
Stirring the strings of the heart
The exotic Raga
That floats like a fragrant breeze
Into the vital breath of the dancer
Makes dance a heavenly bliss!
The dainty feet tap to rhythmic beats
Dancing, practising with persistence
Again and again, till the feet ache.
The morning springs a fresh surprise,
A new energy,
A greater resolution,
In pursuit of perfection!
When the dancer executes her 'Aoavus'
It is a measured step of rhythmic beats,
Not any ordinary stamp or a stride,
Or an uneven trip or a tumble,
But a dancing movement with a difference!
An aesthetic sweep of grace
An amazing Mudra
So well planned and charmingly performed!
When Nartaki stamps her feet
It needs to be soft and gentle
A step neither too loud nor harsh
Dare she startle Nature in her tranquil repose
Or hurt Mother Earth's generous bosom?
Every dancing step is a balance
The alignment of the body and mind
Like the delicate balance of the dance poses!
The rhythmic measure of dance
With intricate Talas,
The hands and legs moving swiftly,
The whole body flitting across the stage
With leaps and jumps,
Like a gentle doe skipping amidst green foliage
Accurate - not too early nor too late
On time – on dot – mathematical precision of Laya!
The limbs stretched yet curved at varied angles,
Sometimes raised or at times lowered,
Are like angel's wings held with poise,
Blending with harmony!
Holding a Mudra like a Champak in bloom,
Of gleaming golden yellow hue
Fragrant, sweet and soothing!
Mudras! Pretty modules,
Flexible fingers that can construct
Designs to decorate,
Or to define meaningful lines!
The curvatures of the fingers,
Attract and symbolise
The subtle expressions of Nature
A balm to mind and body!
Yearning for divine love
Striving towards a goal -
A goal of perfection,
And heavenly bliss!
Nartaki envelops and shields herself
Through her dance, dance and dance alone!
As you watch the beautiful Nartaki
Moving swiftly like a giant wave –
High and low,
A sudden thought - Is life a battle of sentiments?
Her expressions change like a moving cloud,
Vivacious and vibrant,
Then suddenly at a tangent,
Pensive and penitent!
When the dancer dances,
There is the enchanting dance,
The melody of music,
The rhythm of drums,
A sensational sculpture,
A marvellous painting,
Can one resist the charm of an inspiring poem
Or the nimble footwork of a dancer?
Just when the dancer ceases dancing
And takes leave of the audience,
She stares at an emptiness,
A fearsome void,
A visible darkness,
A deafening silence,
Devoid of all sound and movement,
The dancer finds herself in a desolate cave!
A dancer is not separate from her dance
Nor from the rhythms of her footsteps
Restless like a fish out of water,
Rootless like a tree pulled out of the earth,
A bird on wings without a sky above,
A body without a soul!
Like the atman in identity with the Paramatman
She is united with her dance!
Inseparable! A dancer without dance?
Or dance without a dancer?
They exist one with the other.
Like the sun and its rays,
Like the ocean and its waves
Like the fire and its orange glow
Dance is performed and manifests its varied hues
Through the vibrant movement of the dancer!
Whatever be life's philosophy
Or its phenomenal ways,
Unpredictable, yet unique,
Stranger than any legendary tale
Finally, it is the dance alone,
The true motivation,
The rhythm of existence,
That makes one exhilaratingly happy!
Dance - a pleasant meditation
Of Infinite Reality;
The myriad colours of Raga, Tala, Bhava
Merge into highest artistic expressions
A soulful symphony!
Shakti activates the divine chord
For Shiva to grace and bless Nartaki
With the infinite bliss of Shiva consciousness!