Sonal's mesmerising performances brought India to people abroad:Aiya

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New Delhi, Sept 12 (UNI) Recalling a famous performance by Odissi danseuse Sonal Mansingh in Luxembourg years ago, Union Minister for Sports, Youth Welfare and Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar said she had brought India to people abroad by her ''mesmerising performances''.

Releasing her maiden book 'Classical Dances: Incredible India' at a function here, he said at the time when people of that country did not even know anything about India, the mesmerising performances of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and Sonal during the India-Luxembourg Friendship Year, had been an apt introduction.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonal said that was '' not easy'' to write an encyclopedia on the vast journey of 5000 years of Indian classical dances and she had tried to ''capture its essence in an undaunting and simple book''.

Emphasising the importance of art and culture, former Union Minister Vasant Sathe, who was also present on the occasion, quipped had our parliamentarians known about art and culture, they would not be behaving the way they do in Parliament.

Shobit Arya Wisdom Tree, which has published the book, said Indian classical dances are one of the greatest treasures of the country. ''It is a rare honour to publish a book on this subject by one of the most gifted performers -- Sonal Mansingh -- who is an incredible combination of a dancer and a philosopher,'' she added.

'Classical Dances: Incredible India -- part of the ten-volume Incredible India set -- is an exploration of the different facets of dance. Written by one of India's legendary dancers, the book provides extensive knowledge on the vast ocean of ''natya vidya.'' With brilliant photographs, this book reflects the sublime aesthetics of dance.

Indian dances have been deemed sacred because of its innate capacity to visualise and actualise the deepest philosophical concepts through gestures, movements and the art of suggestions.

Immediate collective transcendences is possible only through dance and when the dancer disappears and melts away in the dance and when the audience is transported in the realm of 'rasa srishti' or pure aesthetic delight.


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