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Indira dasi


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  Indira dasi

Classical Indian Temple Dance

Indira dasi offers classical Indian temple-dance recitals especially for Vaisnava sangas, festivals, weddings, ceremonies, inaugurations, etc. The performance of temple dances on such occasions gives great prosperity to the host and abundant knowledge, blessings, happiness and relief of daily worries to the audience.

According to Bharata Muni the deva-dasi brings luck. The origin of Vedic temple dance and drama is a brahminical occupation which came down from Lord Brahma in Treta-yuga. The spiritual rules and regulations have been recorded by the sage Bharata Muni who received these muses from him, as well as the dance techniques (nrtta) and the mellows (rasas) which have been systematized by Bharata in Natya Shastra, 200 BC.

Bharata says that the audience should be as qualified as the dancer herself in order to let both fully benefit from the joy and enlightenment of a devotional performance offered to the Lord. 'The practice is the material; the performance is the yajna (sacrifice)'.

The classical temple dance is a great art, it takes a good amount of practice and courage, discipline and detachment, realization and etiquettes. The advanced dances (padams) manifest four rasas: dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya as experienced in the spiritual realm of Krsna where 'all words are a song and every step is a dance.'

Unfortunately, the profession of deva-dasi (servant of God) perverted under British rule. The Indian Government completely abolished the profession through the 'Devadasi Act' of 1947. Today, the devotional dance merely survives as a profane stage art often under degraded circumstances.

Indira-dasi is a qualified Bharata-natyam dancer and a specialist of Krsna-padams. She is devoted to Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna under guidance of Srila B.V. Narayan Goswami. Indira attempts to return to the original sastric standards of 'dasi-attam' established by Bharata Muni and searches for qualified, or truly devoted audiences and qualified celebrations.

Her traditional dance recitals take about one and a half hours (2 sets of 45 minutes), including a verbal presentation of the pastimes (lila), the explication of hand movements (hastas), rhythms (talas) and footwork (jatis).

Maybe you can help maintain the devotional art of the ancient temple dance. For further information, please, send an e-mail to indira@scarlet.nl.

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