Writing from Kathmandu
Okay, here (embedded below) is the dance I just finished learning - the Manjushri Gita. Now I am polishing it and starting on the sloka for Vajrayogini.
My friend Rene said, "then you can have a recital!" No, little kids have recitals. Grownups have performances. The video below shows the Majushri gita performed by members of Dance Mandal at a German Sacred Arts festival.
My first question was about the dancer's 'ardhamundi' or knee-bending posture. They don't seem to have much ardhamundi; but then coming from Bharatanatyam I am used to extreme knee bend and foot turnout.
Also, my teacher and I plan to alter the costume so that one can see more footwork and angika abhinaya (body expression). These jama costumes are nice, but a bit too Tibetan (ie, robelike and concealing). The priests in temple wear such voluminous gowns (albeit in white colour only), but the traditional sculptures and thangkas do not. Something more along the lines of the Odissi costume (right) is more flattering and more in keeping with the Newari artwork.
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