Pushpanjali indicates the art of offering flowers to famous Hindu deities in India. In the famous Bharatanatyam dance, Pushpanjali is one of the dance numbers performed at the start of the performance or Arangetram.
In online Bharatanatyam classes, Pushpa indicates flowers, and Anjali means salutation by holding the hands together with the palm facing inwards. In simple words, Pushpanjali means offering flowers as a form of salutation to the dance God, Ganesha. In this guide, you will know everything regarding Pushpanajli in Bharatanatyam.
Pushpanjali in Bharatanatyam
You will find in any Bharatanatyam recital that a dancer performs a full margan that includes a series of items like Pushpanjali, Alarippu, Jathiswaram, kauthuvam, shabdam, varnam, Javali and thillana.
As Pushpanjali is the first dance piece to start the recital, in classical dance classes, the dancer either carries or pretends flowers in their hands and performs korvai. This covers all the four corners and sides of the stage; after this, the flowers are offered to Lord Natarajar.
After this, the dancer does the namaskaram, which is a traditional way of commencing a dance in classical dance classes and also pays tribute to their guru, audience and dance scholars. The piece mostly involves lyrics or slogans that praise Lord Natarajar. Finally, the dancers end items with the sathiya/lyrics followed by theermanam.
Pushpanjali is also performed, paying respects to Lord Ganesha, who is considered the exponent of Bharatanatyam. This is done in Bharatanatyam classes mainly to seek blessings so that the entire program does well. It is also done to seek blessings from the teacher and welcome the audience.
In Bharatanatyam classes, the word ‘Anjali’ means ‘offerings’. Offerings can be made in a number of ways, and the most common name heard is “Pushpanjali” (Offering with “pushpam”, which means flowers).
Similarly, Geetanjali is the offering of a song or geetam, Swaranjali is the offering of music, and Shraddhanjali is the offering of love to another individual. In Pushpanjali Bharatanatyam, Pushpanjali is the offering of flowers by a dancer.
It can also be an invocation piece performed at the start of any dance performance. Sometimes, a slokam in Indian dance Bharatanatyam is also mixed into the Pushpanjali; a slokam can be the praise of a God.
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