My argument is that dance can be seen through the lens of linguistics. It is nonetheless, composed of a vocabulary of poses and gestures that are codified within a set by masters to perform Abhinaya (acting) and tell stories similar to how a grammar and a vocabulary is used to write complicated sentences and paragraphs.

For example, Odissi has the following hand gestures in its vocabulary

Odissi Single Hand Mudras
PatakaTripatakaArdhapatakaKartarimukha
MayuraArdha ChandraAralaSukhatundaka
MushtiShikharaKapitthaKatakamukha
KatakamukhaKatakamukhaKatakamukhaKapittha
KatakamukhaKatakamukhaKatakamukhaSuchi
ArdhasuchiChandrakalaPadmakoshaSarpasheesha
SimhamukhaKangulaAlapadmaAlapadma
ChaturaChaturaBhrmaraSakata
HamsasyaHamsapakshakaMrigashirshaKangula
KapitthaTrishulaTambulaVardhamana
VardhamanaPushpaBaanaTeera

 

 

The amazing thing in my opinion is how intuitive gestures are in comparison to words or letters and often signify such great amount of information than what would even comprise a sentence. Odissi repertoire sequentially includes an invocation followed by nritta, nritya, natya, and moksha.

The invocation called Mangalacharana is performed followed by offering of flowers called Pushpanjali and salutation to mother earth referred as Bhumi Pranam. Next in line is performance of Batu or Batuka Bhairava or Battu Nrutya or Sthayee Nrutya which is pure dance or nritta dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is performed only on rhythmic music without any recitation or singing. The next part is nritya that encompass expressional dance or Abhinaya to communicate a story, song or poetry through hand gestures or mudras, emotions or bhavas and eye and body movements. The next part natya includes a dance drama based on Hindu mythological texts and epics. An Odissi performance is concluded with the dance movement referred as Moksha that aims to communicate a feeling of emancipation of the soul.

The most critical here being the pure dance that can be performed to highlight the structure and the vocabulary of the dance using choreography similar to what can be done using advanced penmenship of certain writers in their poems.