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You are invited to join our monthly social meet for members. This month we have invited our Friend Vaidehi to discuss the gorgeous classical art form – bharatanatyam dance with us. Bharatanatyam’s theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text, Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra (its first compilation dated between 200BC and 200CE). Bharatanatyam poses are depicted in sculptures and carvings through temples such as those in Chidambaram and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, dating back to ~12th century and 6th-9th century respectively.

Vaidehi will be discussing the meaning and symbology behind the hand gestures, called Mudras, that are recognisable in many museum and gallery collections like the NGA Asian Art Collection. Bharatanatyam utilises around 30 different Mudras which are a mechanism for story-telling in this art form. Her in-depth study of the Mudras is central to her practice as a performer.

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Image: The dancing child-saint Sambandar, 12th century, Tamil Nadu, India, sculptures, bronze; lost-wax casting, 66.0 h x 36.0 w x 22.0 d cm, Purchased by the NGA 2005. National Gallery of Australia.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.