Pre-History & Archaeology

Dancing Girl

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Dancing Girl
C. 2500 B.C.

Place of Origin: Mohenjodaro
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: 10.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm.
Acc. No. 5721/195

One of the rarest artefacts world-over, a unique blend of antiqueness and art indexing the lifestyle, taste and cultural excellence of a people in such remote past as about five millenniums from now, the tiny bronze-cast, the statue of a young lady now unanimously called 'Indus dancing girl', represents a stylistically poised female figure performing a dance. The forward thrust of the left leg and backwards tilted right, the gesture of the hands, demeanour of the face and uplifted head, all speak of absorption in dance, perhaps one of those early styles that combined drama with dance, and dialogue with body-gestures. As was not unusual in the lifestyle of early days, the young lady has been cast as nude. The statue, recovered in excavation from 'HR area' of Mohenjo-Daro, is suggestive of two major breaks-through, one, that the Indus artists knew metal blending and casting and perhaps other technical aspects of metallurgy, and two, that a well developed society Indus people had innovated dance and other performing arts as modes of entertainment.

Large eyes, flat nose, well-fed cheeks, bunched curly hair and broad forehead define the iconography of the lady, while a tall figure with large legs and arms, high neck, subdued belly, moderately sized breasts and sensuously modeled waist-part along vagina, her anatomy. The adornment of her left arm is widely different from the right. While just two, though heavy, rings adorn her right arm, the left is covered in entirety with heavy ringed bangles. Besides, the figure has been cast as wearing on her breasts a necklace with four 'phalis' like shaped pendants. Though a small work of art, it is impressive and surpasses in plasticity and sensuousness the heavily ornate terracotta figurines.

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Weight(s) and Measurements
Pasupati Seal
Dancing Girl