Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Manipuri Dancer: My latest artwork


Manipuri Dancer

Pastels on PastelMat paper
Chennai, India
©2020 Melissa Enderle

The full moon is out tonight. I am playing the role of Lord Krishna as we perform at the Kalakeshetra Fair in Chennai, India. The crowd always loves seeing the love between Lord Krishna and Radha being reenacted. Just like the Bharatanatyam dancers of Tamil Nadu, much emphasis is placed on the hand and upper body gestures I make. We don't wear anklet bells or perform such forceful footwork though. The tube-skirted Radha and I dance gracefully, accompanied by kartal cymbals, a barrel Pung drum, and singers chanting beautiful Sanskrit poetry. As I move about in our courtship dance, the feathers from my headdress and tassels affixed to my arms sway in the humid air. Did our Lord Krishna have as much fun when he courted Radha? I wonder.