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DANCING FOR THE GODS is a Bharatanatyam show, a traditional dance from South India that encompasses several elements: movement, dramatic art, music, rhyme and rhythm. In this excerpt the Indian dancer Anuradha Venkataraman presents the main piece of a traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire: Varnam.
The word itself means “that which is colored”. The whole piece is structured so that the rhythmic patterns are intertwined with the narration of a story. The dancer represents a heroine in love with Lord Shiva (one of the main deities of the Hindu Pantheon). She says her heart is restless, like a bird in a cage, at this moment when she feels intense love for him. Cupid’s arrows strike her and make her love intense and unbearable. She goes to the temple to observe her majestic lord. She asks her friend to read her palms and say when she will join him. The heroine begs her friend to go find out when her lord will come to get her.