SEARCH

LEARN THE LINGO

print   ·   T  T  
Shikhara Asha Ponikiewska, who performed her Bharatanatyam arangetram this past weekend, demonstrates the hasta (above). She uses shikhara to show a liquid being poured into a vessel (top) and attracting someone’s attention using the eyes (left). Asha is a disciple of Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar.
Shikhara Asha Ponikiewska, who performed her Bharatanatyam arangetram this past weekend, demonstrates the hasta (above). She uses shikhara to show a liquid being poured into a vessel (top) and attracting someone’s attention using the eyes (left). Asha is a disciple of Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar.

Some hastas are used in classical dance in the same way as when we gesticulate in daily life. For example, we ask ‘Why?’ or ‘Where?’ or use the palm or index finger to point out an object. Sometimes gesticulation is culture-specific. That is, certain gestures have a particular significance in certain regions or cultures. The gesture for ‘Namaste’ or ‘Salam’ are instances of these.

Here is the 10th single-hand gesture in Nandikeswara’s list:

Shikhara

This hasta is simple: A thumbs up sign. Make the hand into a fist. Then lift the thumb up, holding it at an angle of 90 degrees to the fist.

Uses

Shikhara is used to show an archer’s bow. The most effective archer is Manmatha, the god of love who shoots flower arrows. Naturally enough, the mudra for Manmatha is made by holding shikhara in the left hand, with the hasta representing the flower arrow in the right. Shikhara is also used to show the pouring of a liquid. It could be poured from one vessel to another, or indicate liquid being drunk, or even oblations to the ancestors. This is because the offerings are poured. Pointing the shikhara in the opposite direction to that in which we usually serve with a ladle shows that this is an oblation to a deceased soul, as this is how it is done in the actual ritual.

If you have a query or a response to articles in Friday Review, write to us at delhifridayreview@gmail.com


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in FRIDAY REVIEW

Kathak by Rachna Yadav, August 19, IIC.

15 august diary

Music

Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh – 2014

— Festival continues:... »