As one of the oldest civilizations, India has a rich and diverse tradition of artistic expression. In terms of movement, it has eight exquisite classical dance forms as well as numerous other ancient and modern dance traditions. Inspired by that timeless beauty, Irina Akulenko - a New York City-based star belly dancer - has created The Sculpted Blossom: a program that explores points of possible connection between belly dance and elements of classical Indian dance.
The Sculpted Blossom is a collection of dance combinations inspired by just a few foundational elements of one classical Indian dance form, Odissi. One of the most graceful and lyrical of all Indian classical dances, Odissi is essentially a series of beautifully sculpted poses and fluid and sensual transitions.
Created for intermediate to advanced level dancers, The Sculpted Blossom explores articulated hand gestures - Mudras - graceful arm patterns, expressive eye and head movements, evocative ribcage isolations, the precise footwork of Odissi, and how all these can be connected to the beautiful hip and torso articulations found in belly dance. Starting with simple drills and short combinations, the program increases in difficulty with longer and more complex dance phrases, culminating in a full-length choreography. Closely interconnected, your dance will flow from the sculptural shapes into more familiar belly dance steps, sometimes layering both elements together.
The Sculpted Blossom requires focus and self discipline. It is not designed to be a ‘follow-along’ program. Instead, Irina welcomes you to work on each combination at your own pace. This program will truly involve your whole body, from head to toe, challenge your focus, balance, and strength, as well as your ability to layer movements and carefully control the position of your eyes, fingers, arms, feet and, of course, your hips.
Click the links below to see other World Dance New York instructional and performance videos featuring Irina Akulenko: