Rhythm, Flow and Line: Where Dance And Painting Meet

Classical Dance in Indian Art, New Patterns, Angles and Colour Arrangements

By Kerala Museum

Dancer, Sudhir Khatsgir, 1963, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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Dancer, Shiavax Chavda, 1966, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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Sudhir Khatsgir and Shiavax Chavda were versatile artists searching for new subjects, angles, patterns, arrangements of colour, bringing an unusual freshness to their works. These artworks give us the impression that the dancers have danced to their hearts' content. 

Dancer (1963) by Sudhir KhatsgirKerala Museum

Dancer by Sudhir Khatsgir

In this painting, artist Sudhir Khatsgir beautifully captures the dancer takes aim to shoot an arrow. 

He demonstrates technical mastery of the subject of dance. The dancer's fast and vigorous movements are portrayed in a few strokes of line and vibrant colour, aptly capturing the sense of rhythm. 

Dancer (1969) by Shiavax ChavdaKerala Museum

Dancer by Shiavax Chavda

With the heart of an adventurer, sketchbook in hand, Chavda travelled to Indian temples, absorbing ancient Indian art forms, immersing himself in diverse cultures and communities. These journeys were the bedrock of his artistic journey, notably this series on dancers.

Chavda shows the dancer gracefully in the Veera Rasa (The rasa of Courage), the stance of a king or a nobleman with her left hand on the hip and right hand on the thigh.

Chavda's connection to the world of performance is deepened by his travels and his marriage to Khurshid Vajifdar, a well-known exponent of Indian Classical Dance and with whom he shared a studio.

Dancer (1966) by Shiavax ChavdaKerala Museum

Dancer by Shiavax Chavda

Instead of rendering movement in a realistic way, he tries to capture the energy and rhythm of the action, the changing forms, postures, and the graceful attitude or gestures portrayed by the figures... with just a few strokes.

In this painting, Chavda captures the dancer in Shringara Rasa (the rasa of beauty) while she holds a mirror in her left hand and applies kajal with her right hand.

The swirling lines give the impression of movement or rhythm to the lines highlighting the figure's sinewy structure and the swishing fabric of the costume. Chavda brings harmony to the artwork through the flow of colours as well.

Credits: Story

Story Content Created: 
Gopika Krishnan L

Content Editors:
Arundhathy Nayar
Aditi Nayar
Jyothi Elza George 
Meenakshi Anil Raj Panthiyil

Malayalam Translator
Geeta Nayar

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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