POETRY: Sudeep Sen - Bharatanatyam Dancer
(for Leela Samson)
Spaces in the electric air divide themselves in circular rhythms, as the slender grace of your arms and bell-tied ankles describe a geometric topography, real, cosmic, one that once reverberated continually in a prescribed courtyard of an ancient temple
in South India. As your eyelids flit and flirt, and match the subtle abhinaya in a flutter of eye-lashes, the pupils create an unusual focus, sight only ciliary muscles blessed and cloaked in celestial kaajal could possibly enact.
The raw brightness of kanjeevaram silk, of your breath, and the nobility of antique silver adorns you and your dance, reminding us of the treasure chest that is only half-exposed, disclosed just enough, barely — for art in its purest form never reveals all.
Even after the arc lights have long faded, the audience, now invisible, have stayed over. Here, I can still see your pirouettes, frozen as time-lapse exposures, feel the murmuring shadow of an accompanist's intricate raga in this theatre of darkness,
a darkness where oblique memories of my quiet Kalakshetra days filter, matching your very own of another time, where darkness itself is sleeping light, light that merges, reshapes, and ignites, dancing delicately in the half-light.
But it is this sacred darkness that endures, melting light with desire, desire that simmers and sparks the radiance of your quiet femininity, as the female dancer now illuminates everything visible: clear, poetic, passionate, and ice-pure.