Dances on Indian and Lankan stamps | Sunday Observer

Dances on Indian and Lankan stamps

5 June, 2021

The total number of classical dances was officially regarded as seven. But today the total number of Indian classical classes is officially recognised as eight.

At present the Indian classical dances are regarded as Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam and Sattriya of Assam. Sattriya of Assam is the recent inclusion of the list of Indian classical dances.

In October 1975, the Government of India officially published six different classical dance images in six different postal stamps. The overall dimension of the stamps is printed in 3.91 X 2.90 cm. The printed dimension area of the stamps is in 3.56 X 2.54 cm.

Anything printed on the national stamp is regarded as a great national honour and state recognition. In earlier days stamps played an important role rather than today. Today electronic mail or email is quite popular in the fast-moving world. Among the present generation the email, the Facebook and WhatsApp are the common, confidential, quickest and the fastest communication modes.

Communication modes

These modern communication modes are quicker and faster than the postal communication system. Still, the postal communication system is very much needed.

And this postal communication the system is a concrete mode of transaction method for the hard copy documents. The stamps are not only used for posting letters but also they are utilised for numerous other purposes including for legal documentary purposes. Hence getting a place in the postal stamp is regarded a prestige at national and international level.

Through the stamps, a country’s culture, numerous historical factors and national heritage factors are invariably exposed to the world. The Indian stamps bearing six different dance images were released on the 20th October 1975 to commemorate the Indian classical dances. The six different important classical dances that appeared on the Indian stamps are Bharatha Natyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Odissi.

Bharatha Natyam is the classical dance form of Tamils. And it is regarded as the Tamil Nadu state dance. It has its own grace, charm, and standing in the international sphere. The value of the Indian stamp which contains the Bharatha Natyam image is 25 Paise.

Kathak is another Indian classical dance form. It has been influenced by Hindu and Moghul cultures. It reached the peak of its achievement during the 16th and 17th centuries. The value of the stamp which contains the Kathak dance image is 75 Paise.

Among the Indian classical dance forms, Kathakali is another dance form. The South Indian dance form Kathakali is a dance form of Kerala.

Kathakali is also one of the temple arts based on stories. Kathakali and Bharatha Natyam are deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and devotion. The value of the Kathakali dance image stamp is one Rupee.

Kuchipudi is also another classical dance form of South India. It belongs to the classical dance of Telugu Desha, based on drama. Present day Andhra Pradesh was earlier called Telugu Desha.

The northern border of Tamil Nadu is Andhra Pradesh, which its own classical dance form has called Kuchipudi. Kuchipudi originated in the village Kuchipudi in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, near the Bay of Bengal. And later this dance form acquired the name of the village Kuchipudi where it originated.

The value of the stamp which contains the Kuchipudi dance image is Rs 1.50 Paise.Odissi is an important classical dance form of the East Indian state, Orissa. The Odissi originated from Kalinga Desha of India, presently known as Orissa. The value of the Odissi stamp is 50 Paise.

The Manipuri dance originated from the East Indian state of Manipur. The word Manipuri is also often used for Manipuri saris. The excellent Manipuri saris are also manufactured in the Manipur state of India.

In Manipuri dance, the Rasa Lila, dances are deeply linked to devotional worship and they were earlier danced in temples. The dances were performed at the Nat Mandapas in temples. The value of the stamp, which contains the Manipuri dance image is Rs. Two. Hence different Indian classical dances originated in six different states of India with excellent aesthetic essence. All dances are well displayed on Indian stamps.Besides these classical dance stamps another stamp of Uday Shankar, the father of Indian fusion dances, was published by the Government of India, on September 26, 1978, to commemorate the first death anniversary of Uday Shankar.

This stamp was printed in a vertical position. The dance pose is depicted with Thandava Nirttya pose of Uday Shankar. The printed area of the stamp is a 3.91cm dimension. The value of the stamp is 25 Paise.

There are four main divisions in the Kandyan dance. They are Ves, Nayandi, Udekki and Pantheru. Ves dance occupies a very important and prominent place.

The Kandyan dance is very popular among the Sinhalese population of Sri Lanka. The traditional Kandyan dance is a pure Nirtha dance firmly based on Thala, Laya and Thandava Karna stances, and rhythm.

The dance is still practised in Buddhist temple festivals, street processions or peraheras, public entertainment events to welcome political leaders, visitors and foreign dignitaries.

Among all the Sri Lankan traditional classical dances the Ves dance occupies a prominent position.

First, the Ves dancer’s image was printed and published on a Sri Lankan stamp in 1950. The value of the stamp was four cents.

Later another image of a Ves dancer appeared on numerous other Sri Lankan stamps. It is worth mentioning here that the image of the Ves dancer was the same in different stamps, but the colour of the stamps differ from one another.

The same Ves dancer’s image was printed on the stamps in ten different colours. The value of the stamps also differs from one another.

The value of dark brown Ves dancer stamp is Rs. 1, peacock blue Ves dancer stamp is Rs. 2. Purplish Ves dancer stamp value at Rs. 3, bluish Ves dancer stamp value is Rs.3.50, bright red Ves dance stamp is Rs. 4. Green Ves dancer stamps are Rs. Five, dark purplish-bluish colour Ves stamp is Rs.10, brick red Ves dancer stamp is Rs. 13.50, bluish green colour Ves dancer stamp is Rs. 17 and the mustard colour Ves dancer stamp is Rs. 20.

On another occasion to commemorate the World Tourist Day, a Ves dancer along with accompaniments was published on a Sri Lankan stamp. The value of the stamp is Rs. 5.

Another Ves dancer was printed on a Sri Lanka revenue stamp. The value of the stamp is Rs. 50.