Inspired by the multiple symbolic representations of the lotus in different cultures of the world, the dancers and musicians from Apsaras Arts explore its significance and meaning through bharatanatyam in Alapadma – The Lotus Unfolds.
This dance production draws inspiration from the multi-faceted symbolism of the lotus and will explore its representation in mythology, iconography and philosophy, particularly in the ancient civilisations of India, Egypt, Iran and Southeast Asia.
“Alapadma” is the name of the dance mudra (hand gesture) that represents the fully opened lotus, and can be found in the ancient texts on Indian dance and theatre namely the Natyasastra and the Abhinaya Dharpana, which serve as invaluable repositories of knowledge for most Indian classical dance forms.
The many aspects of the lotus such as Srishti Sarasija (signifying creation), Pada Pankaja(mythology), Leela Kamala (romance), Alankaara Ambuja (iconography) and Sahasrara Padmam (human wisdom) will be brought alive through music and dance.
The lotus is a flower sacred to nature and the divine, and representative of both the abstract and the physical universe. It is also emblematic of the productive powers within and borne out of the spiritual and physical realms. It was held sacred in antiquity by the Hindus, the Egyptians, and thereafter by the Buddhists. Revered in China and Japan, and adopted as a Christian emblem by the Greek and Latin Churches, the symbolism of the lotus is an enigma worthy of exploration.