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Hastha Prayogaah: Vocabulary of Hand Gestures in Bharatanatyam (With Audio CD and Instructional DVD)

Jayalakshmi Eshwar (Author)

This book is based on the ancient Indian text - 'Abhinayadarpanam' and illustrates the varied usages of the hasthas with special reference to the Asamyutha (single hand gestures) and the Samyutha (double hand gestures) and their applications known as Viniyogas (the vocabulary of dance gestures).

The Viniyogas form the essential grammar for the dance and constitute an essential aspect of Bharatanatyam. Permutations and combinations of Mudras (gestures) combined with the artist's own skill can depict and interpret any idea one desires. This is an essential means of communication for the dancer.

'Hastha Prayogaah' lays out its content as original Sanskrit Slokas, corresponding English pronunciations, word-by-word meaning and a detailed photographic guide to performing the gestures. More than 1070 colour photographs take the reader through the nuances of using the hand gestures.

The book is divided as three sections -- the single hand gestures, double hand gestures and a special section on simple choreography interpretations.

The Audio and Video Support materials, which constitute an essential part of the training envisaged for this book, are available in the form of Audio CDs and Video DVDs. Each follows the same format as the book and is completely self-explanatory.

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About the author

Jayalakshmi Eshwar

Jayalakshmi Eshwar is the Founder-Director of Abhinayaa. She trained in the celebrated Kalakshetra of late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale in Chennai, where she imbibed the catholicity and flair of the Kalakshetra tradition. Today, she is a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam. Her style is modern and innovative within a classical framework. An excellent performer, teacher and choreographer, she has performed at various national and international festivals, and to audiences in India, Scandinavia, Europe, CIS Countries, Gulf nations, Latin America, Canada, USA, China, Indonesia, North Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. Her thematic group productions Tat Tvam Asi, Bharatam, Vyamanika Shastra, Nrityarupam, Nadopasana, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Bhaktamara Stothra on Jainism, and others have won her great acclaim. She heads the Bharatanatyam Department of Triveni Kala Sangam, a premier institution for the fine arts in New Delhi. She is involved in dance instruction with Suniye, an organization that helps hearing impaired children. She has developed a TV documentary for rural children, produced by CIET and supported by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). She also works with the Center for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Bal Bhavan and the India International Rural Cultural Centre. She has been a visiting faculty in 25 schools in Scotland under the invitation of the Asian Artists Association and the Strathclyde Educational Council. Her interest in other dance forms has led her to learn and perform Odissi under Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Mayadar Raut and Ramani Ranjan Jena. She has also enacted the role of a Tanjore Dancer in the National Award Winning Kannada Film Hamsa Geethe of G.V. Iyer. Cultural organizations have conferred titles such as Natya Kala Selvi, Natya Kala Nayaki and Natya Ilavarasi on Jayalakshmi. She was given the Lion's Club of Delhi Teachers Excellence Award 2001.

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Bibliographic information

Title Hastha Prayogaah: Vocabulary of Hand Gestures in Bharatanatyam (With Audio CD and Instructional DVD)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 08.03.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Jayalakshmi Eshwar
Language: English
isbn 8175257865, 9788175257863
length xx+253p., Plates; Figures; Bibliography; 23cm.