Indian Dancers By Sarojini Naidu
The poem “Indian Dancers” portrays the vivid and enchanting picture of beautiful Indian dancers with “houri-like faces”, their “eyes ravished with rapture” and “passionate bosoms aflaming with fire”. Dressed in “glittering garments of purple”, they tread” their rhythmical, slumber-soft feet “while dancing in accompaniment with “entrancing “strain of keen music”.
The aesthetics of Sarojini Naidu (Indian aesthetics) are clearly seen in the poem ‘Indian Dancers.’ The overabundance of lush and over-ripe imagery reflects every meaning. The Orient is painted to create the narcotic or opiate mood through extravagant sensuality. This aesthetic is supported in Naidu’s time by feudal luxury, which is declining.
The beautiful and rhythmic physical movement of the performers in the poem ‘Indian Dancers’ throws light on another important aspect of community life. In a group performance, each of the artists contributes to it in equal measure but without retaining her individual identity. This is a case of the individual self-merging into the whole for the larger benefit of the society. Again, the performers might be belonging to different social or economic classes or to different castes and creeds. In the perspective of human relationship, the lyric can be perceived as a record of unity in diversity.
In Sarojini Naidu’s poetry, the spirit of Indianness is shown in varied colours and contours. She followed the footsteps of Toru Dutt, Aurobindo and Tagore and explored India’s rich ancient heritage and rural India’s folk culture, prompting her to differentiate Indian mythology, customs, manners, festivals and thus to generate pride among colonised Indians and reaffirm their national identity.