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International Conference 



3rd to 7th December 2003

About the Craft Bazaar   ::   Programme Schedule

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is (IGNCA) is a premier national institution, dedicated to the experience and expression of art in its multi-faceted manifestations through a holistic understanding of its theory and practice, is organizing a major international event on MUDRA: GESTURE, MEANING AND METAPHOR

First expression in the world was primarily gestural, carried on with hand and arm signals rather than vocal sounds. In the early days, visible gestures were used as words, and it is over a period of several centuries that humans learned to combine the signs spontaneously into phrases or sentences conveying a wide range of ideas.

The Sanskrit word mudra primarily means a “sign” “symbol” or “gesture.” In the Indian tradition of thought, religion and art, the seemingly simple term “mudra” acquires a wide range of meanings and interpretations. Operating through different levels of meaning at the physical and metaphysical planes, mudra has several connotations such as gesture, seal, symbol, sign, image and script. Depending on the context of its use, mudra has dramatic, ceremonial and iconographic significance. It has pervasive meaning in the field of ritual, iconography, numismatics and performing arts as also in communication and modern advertising methodologies.

MUDRA: GESTURE, MEANING AND METAPHOR is an attempt to grasp the multi-levelled symbolism of the concept of mudra in dance, myth, ritual and art. The event, consisting of seminars, discussions, performances, lecture-demonstrations, exhibitions and craft shows, aims to bring together a wide variety of experiences and interests in a single platform, and will be organised through five days from 3rd to 7th December 2003. We hope that it will be in the nature of an interdisciplinary dialogue between ritual practitioners, scholars, performing artists, social scientists, historians, critics and communication theorists mediated by interested laypersons from every field of life.  

About the crafts bazaar

There will be Demonstration and Sale of Crafts from all over India by more than hundred craftsman during this occasion.

Over 100 artisans from all over the country will demonstrate their art and sell their artifacts. Some of the crafts to be on display are: clay moulding, Kalamkari, Tankha paintings, Pattachitra, wood/metal/iron work from Bastar, paper machie from J & K, metal craft of Moradabad, Naga wood carving, Madhubani paintings and Kantha stitch.

Shilp gurus who are national awardees will mix with the participants and exchange views.

Programme Schedule - 3rd to 7th December 2003
Wednesday, 3rd December 2003
10.00 am Yajna - Demonstrating hand gestures in Rituals
11.30 am Inauguration of Exhibition  on Mudra by Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa
Guest of Honour:  Prof. Vidya Niwas Misra
12.00 noon “Rhythms of Mudra” - A presentation by students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan highlighting mudras in dance and yoga
Choreography by Shanta Krishnamurthi
Venue: Janpath (Opp. National Archives), New Delhi


5.30 pm Invocation - Students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Welcome - Prof. Indra Nath Choudhuri, Academic Director & Officiating Member Secretary
Presidential Address - Dr. L.M. Singhvi, MP, President, IGNCA Trust
Inauguration of the Int. Seminar - Shri Jagmohan, Hon’ble Union Minister for Tourism and Culture
Keynote Address - Smt. Sonal Mansingh, Trustee, IGNCA
6.30 pm  Setumudra a dance performance, Smt. Sonal Mansingh


Thursday, 4th December, 2003
Session-I Chair: Dr. Lokesh Chandra
10.00 am - 1.00 pm Mudra in Daily Temple Worship  -  Prof. G.C. Tripathi
Sacralising Space through Ritual: 
The Power and Efficacy of Mudra in Vedic, Tantric and Agamic Worship  -  Dr. Sheetalaprasad Upadhyaya
Mudra in Kathakali with demonstration        -       Guru Sadanam Balakrishnan
Lunch Break


Session-II Chair: Shri Jaya Kumar
2.00 pm - 5.00 pm Mystical Mudras in Saivism  -  Prof. Bettina Baumer
Mudra in Kashmir Saivism  -  Prof. K.D. Tripathi
Lec-dem: A Dancer speaks through Mudra  - Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

3, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi-110001

Cultural Programme
6.30 pm  ‘Kalivesham’   - a play by Shri Kavalam Narayana Panikkar and Troupe
Venue:    Sri Ram Centre Auditorium, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi


Friday, 5th December, 2003
Session-III  Chair: Prof. Ratna Basu
10 am - 1 pm  Mudra in the early Sculptures of Buddha  - Shri M.C. Joshi
Indian Mudra in Japanese Mantrayana - Dr. Lokesh Chandra
Lec-dem: Mudra in Koodiyattam - Shri G. Venu
Lunch Break


Session-IV Chair: Prof. Fredrick W. Bunce
2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Voc as a Mudra within the Sri Lankan Territory during the Dutch Occupation  -  Ms. Buddhini Wijesuriya
A Ring for the King - Dr. Ellen M. Raven
Mudra in Visual and Performing Arts  -  Prof. Edi Sedyawati
Mudra of the Standing Buddha image in the Gal Vihara Polonnaruva - Dr. Sirinimal Lakdusinghe


Cultural Programme
6.30 pm ‘Abhijnana Shakuntalam’   a  Koodiyattam play by Shri G. Venu and Troupe
Venue:    Sri Ram Centre Auditorium, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi


Saturday, 6th December, 2003
Session-V Chair: Prof. K.D. Tripathi
10.00 am - 1.00 pm The Semantics of Mudra with special reference to Sri Vidya - Prof. V.N. Misra
Gesture of Rupa & Arupa: Interpreting Nature as Sacred and Transcendental. (Some Aspects of Ecological Aesthetic in the Upanishads) - Dr. S. Murali
Mudra in Theory & Practice of Performing Arts with demonstration - Dr. Sandhya Purecha
Lunch Break


Session-VI   Chair: Smt. Sonal Mansingh
2.00 pm - 5.00 pm Mudra in the Pancharatra Agama - Prof. M.A. Lakshmithathachar
Mudra in Esoteric Events of  the Buddhists - Prof. Suniti Kumar Pathak
Demonstration and Conclusion - Smt. Sonal Mansingh
Cultural Programme
6.30 pm   ‘Amar Singh Rathore’   -   a nautanki by Brajlok Madhuri troupe 
Direction: Pandit Ram Dayal Sharma
Venue:    Sri Ram Centre Auditorium, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi


Sunday, 7th December, 2003
Session-VII Chair: Prof. Vidya Niwas Misra
10.00 am - 1.00 pm Mudra in Gayatri Purascarana - Prof. T.N. Dharmadhikari
The Etiology and Classification of Mudra - Prof. Fredrick W. Bunce
Lec-dem: Hand gestures in Sattriya Dances of Assam with special reference to Subhankar Kavi’s Sri-Hastamuktavali  - Dr. Sunil Kothari and Smt. Indira Bora
Lunch Break


Session-VIII Chair: Dr. V. Kutumba Sastry
2.00 pm - 5.00 pm Concept and significance of various Mudra in the performance of religious rites with special reference to Diksha - rides in Somayaga - Prof. B.B. Chaube
Mudras in Tamil, Agamic and Silpa Texts - Dr. R. Nagaswami
Social Semiotics of Gesture. Hypotaxis among Mudra (the underlying order of Mudra) - Prof. Rajan Gurukkal
Mudra, gesture, meaning & metaphor in Gandhara Art -     Prof. Farid Khan
Concluding Session


Any information related to the International Conference on Mudra, please contact:

Dr Radha Banerjee, Coordinator eap@yahoo.co.nz


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