Lecture-Demonstration and Dance by Mandakini Trivedion 25th October 2009

Omkarananda Patanjala Yoga Kendra organised a workshop on "Yoga and Indian Classical Dance" by Mandakini Trivedi as part of the Yoga Intensive Course, Oct 09. Mandakini Trivedi is a Mohini-Attam performer, teacher and choreographer who studied the roots of Indian classical dance and yoga, and now re-introduces its principles into dance education and performing techniques. More than 50 students from various countries participated in the workshop conducted by her.

Describing the similarities between Yoga and Indian Classical dance, she told us that Classical Indian dance is a complete union (yoga) in itself. All aspects of yoga, starting from the perfection of mind and body till the reaching of a perfect state, find expression in classical Indian dance. The dancer begins by performing the body grid and the body geometry. The purpose is to lock the various triangles along the front spine and the back spine, so that the Nadis, which are like wiring in the body, are connected. Such a perfect body grid extends into a perfect choreographic grid, which in turn then connects to the cosmic energy grid. Now, dance becomes a medium of tuning into the cosmic energy. Dance becomes a perfect cosmic mandala.

The workshop concluded with a solo dance ballet "Shiva Parvati Vivaha" (marriage of Shiva and Parvati) at Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas.

As it is the tradition before starting the programme, Swami Vishveshwarananda, President of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, and Swami Narasimhuluji lighted the lamps (Deepas) as an offering in front of Gurudev Swami Omkarananda. Then the small students of Omkarananda Preparatory School welcomed our star of the evening with a beautiful dance item, dedicated to Lord Krishna. This was followed by a beautiful dance performance by Kumari Somashekhari, Director of Omkarananda Saraswati Natya Kala Academy. 

The story of Mandakini's dance performance was based on the renowned ancient Sanskrit classical epic "Kumara Sambhava", a master piece of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidas, known as "Shakespeare of India". The story symbolically represents the journey of any seeker who follows his muse. Shiva stands for the Truth and Parvati for the seeker. The story is one woman's faith in the existence of Truth and her devotion for it. The Solo-Ballet was unique in the sense that it was a blend of different Indian classical styles - Bharatanatyam, Mohini-Attam and Kathakali techniques.

Meenakshi Gupta, Head mistress of Omkarananda Preparatory School, was the master of ceremonies. The evening ended with Arati for Gurudev Swami Omkarananda and for his blessings for all those who performed and who attended the beautiful evening. For full report, go here.

Vladimir Malutin