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by Senior Gurus

Abhinaya Workshop with Guru Sushri Leela Samson
Why workshop on Abhinaya? To express anything, may it be through the body, the face or mudras, we need specific tools, a specific vocabulary. We have a very specific and detailed system when we practice our Nritta. Very defined and detailed vocabulary and building blocks to attain a certain proficiency to express ourselves through the medium of pure dance. But do we give Abhinaya the same attention? Or merely overlook it by saying that it is a question of "feeling" it!

A quote from a famous theatre actor, 'If every time I FELT the emotion I expressed on stage, I would go raving mad!' Don’t we need a systemised teaching of abhinaya? Understanding and expressing the emotion maybe more important than feeling it?

How does it work in the Indian Classical dance scenario? At Drishtikon we have been pondering over some questions... ͞Feeling͟ an emotion does not necessarily mean it can be communicated or expressed! We need to evoke that ͞Emotion͟ in the spectator, with every possible tool at our disposal. Body language, facial expressions, Mudras and the final frontier, our eyes. This ability cannot be suddenly ͞felt" or it isn’t God given. Does evoking that emotion in the spectator necessarily indicate that the performer needs to actually ͞feel͟ that emotion?Or is it more to do with the performer having the right tools and vocabulary to express that emotion? In fact, to be totally empty one self, so that the emotion to be expressed passes through without conflict?
- by Aditi Mangaldas

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