"In the beginning, according to Hindu mythology, the god Shiva danced the world into being. It is a charming story of creation, and it gives dancing a significance unknown in the Western world."
"The great Indian dancer, Shanta Rao, has at her command no less than three hundred such gestures - seven for the eyelids alone. With these she encompasses her story, endlessly improvising on the classic Hindu myths, within the rules of a syntax laid down centuries ago.
Here, wearing the gaudy, elaborate plumage of her calling, she is photographed in some of the gestures of the dance. With her hands she conveys the action - the actual happenings of the story. Her feet, jingling with bells, set the rhythm.
And ... with the glance of her eyes, she establishes the mood: happy or raging or, as often happens, pure coquette."
The Language of Gesture
Harper's Bazaar September 1955
Photography: Richard Avedon
|...eyes on the fifties at devodotcom|