Photographer: Nick SavyWhen I was not dancing myself I used to watch the seniors in their class, learning an abhinaya piece. Abhinaya pieces are based on a combination of dance movements with no narrative and dance movements with a denotative meaning, utilised to tell a story through gestures.
There are several such compositions. The one that was being taught during the time of my visit was the story of Nanadanar. I started learning some sections but never completed it. It is such a moving piece, reading the lyrics brought tears to my eyes.
Photographer: Paul Viant
I have seen beautiful renditions of this story and one of its best interpreters is the amazing Dominique Delorme a French dancer who has been practising bharata natyam for decades and is one of the best dancers of the genre - this surely proves that bharata natyam is an international and cosmopolitan dance genre, no longer limited to Indian practitioners and to India alone.
Photographer: David J. Green
Photographer: Gina King