Odissi Impresses Japanese
May 18, 2005
The recent visit of Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi, was significant in more ways than one. Apart from political and other aspects, it was significant from a cultural angle also as he was quite impressed by an Indian classical dance form.
A special recital
of Odissi dance was performed by Masako Ono before the Prime Minister and
a very select gathering of prominent persons from different fields at Taj,
Delhi. Koizumi enjoyed the dance recital and after it was finished
he admiringly said, "Wow! The hand movements of Indian classical dance
are just amazing."
Masako performed Shiva Panchakshari. Also known as Mool Mantra, the Panchakshra devotes five sacred words - Na, Ma, Shi, Va, Ya. Adi Shankaracharya composed Shiva Panchakshra stotra, which reads as:
While conversing with the Prime Minister, Masako put forward the difficulties being faced by her in getting scholarship for her artistic pursuits, "I have been learning Indian classical dance, but I am not able to get sponsorship from Indian organizations because I am Japanese. Japanese organizations don't help me because I am not advertising Japanese culture. Now, I have come to the point where I could do a multicultural choreography. For example, I have recently choreographed a dance piece on Haiku. I would like to do such an experimental work in the future, and I need support for that."
Japan has a
rich cultural tradition. So, impressing the prime minister of such
a country with an Indian classical dance carries its own significance.
Usually foreigners are more conversant with Bharatanatyam, but sculptural
poses and rhythmic flow of body and hands in Odissi carries its own charm.
Koizumi's appreciative remarks speak a lot about the effect an adept dancer
Paramjit is a writer/photographer based in Chandigarh. He is a regular
contributor to narthaki.com. He can be contacted on his mobile: +91-94172-10101.