My project aims to convey the traditional Indian dance form in a new light through photography. I have chosen to focus on four styles of Indian dance; Odissi, Kathak, Bharat Natyam, and Rajasthani Folk dancing.
In no other major art form does time play such an important part as in Indian dance and music. Basic rhythm is described as taal, which is counted time, usually by the clapping of hands and this follows a structured pattern. This counted time is then further divided into sub-divisions known as laya, which has strict rhythm and an ever-changing tempo according to the music piece.
By breaking down dance pieces into 20 second long exposures, in each of these forms, I have aimed to convey the intricate relationship of the taal and laya. By attaching light sources to the hands and feet, the trails of movement were also captured within each time frame to communicate its precision. The dancers were also simultaneously flashed by my own personal instinctive responses to the music and beat.
When placing the sequence of images together, the viewer is now able to see a piece of Indian dance far more intimately within the time frame and space used in each dance form than ever before.
I would sincerely like to thank the dancers involved, and Dr. Ananda Gupta who allowed me to become part of their lives, and enriched my own life in the process.