1. The reading, The Art of Dancing, changed the way I thought of religious dancing. I always thought of religious dancing as a way to celebrate and beautify religion. However, this reading talks about how awakening factors of human nature, which all contain G-ds power, is what drives people to dance. Avinash C. Pandeya says in this reading ¡°Dancing is the supreme expression of religion and love alike¡¡±. This statements explains why almost all religions incorporates dance into their worship, it is the most effective way to express religion. Hindus think of dance as a way to control the great powers of the universe, as they dance they believe they are reenacting divine actions. Therefore, it is easy to understand why many religious dances include some kind of story telling. For example, the art of Kathakali is a unique way of expressing a story using gesticulation. Dances like this one allow complex ideas to become approachable to the masses. 2. After reading the beginning parts of Classical Costumes and Dances of India by Kay Ambrose, I’ve learned many interesting things about Indian dance. I found the emphasis on multiple features of classical Indian dance interesting for example, Abhinaya and Bhava which translates to the mood of the dance. The writer, Ambrose explains how there can thousands of combinations of expressions for different types of dances as she states, “There are nine basic movements of the head, eight glances of the eye, six movements of the eyebrows , four of the neck…”. I can only imagine the amount of dedication it can take to master just this feature of Indian dance. Furthermore, another part of Indian dance I found interesting while reading this portion of the book are the hand gestures. Hand gestures in Indian dance are called Mudras, and because there are many styles of Indian dance Ambrose explains that identifying them can become confusing and difficult. She also explains that Mudras have different meanings and symbolize idols and Gods. The corellation between Indian music and dance is also imperative to the choreography of many different Indian dances. Like how in Bharata Natya, the nattuvan directs the movement of the dancers by using cymbals that are called talam.
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