The Clever Antelope

The Clever Antelope is a story about how a quick-witted antelope outsmarts a foolish hunter who chases him into the forest.

In the video above, Preetis different facial expressions, or "saatvika abhinaya," and hand gestures, or "mudras." Each video includes the name in Sanskrit (the classical language of India) along with examples and applications.

Simhamukham (face of a lion)

Kapitham  (wood apple)

Chaturam (clever / square)

First we'll look at the mudras. Every culture uses its hand gestures for expression: in bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) these gestures are classified in minute detail. Each gesture has specific meanings and applications.

Raudram (anger)

Haasyam (laughter)

The Storyteller's Toolkit

The techniques an Indian classical dancer uses to create an emotional mood are grouped under the term "saatvika abhinaya" (SAAT-vika ab-in-EYE-a). In particular, the face is a key tool for communicating emotion—Indian dancers train for years to perfect these expressions!

Watch how Preeti manipulates different aspects of facial expression (eyes, lips, eyebrows) to create the emotional effect.

(Note: These videos do not have voiceover/subtitles.)

 

Commentary & Analysis

In the video below Preeti demonstrates how she uses the classical gestural vocabulary of Indian dance to tell the story.

 

RCP Challenge!

Now it's your turn—we challenge you to create a story of a deer, and record a short video of yourself performing it!

 

The story could be from your imagination OR a story from your own culture. The only rules are that you MUST:

  • Use the SIMHAMUKHAM gesture at least once

  • Use either (or both) facial expressions HAASYAM or RAUDRAM

(Extra points if you manage to include a red curtain somewhere in the video!)

Send your videos (via a link to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram or equivalent) to info@threshdance.org. We'll publish as many as we can on this site!

 

Antelopes in cultures around the world

Antelopes everywhere!

Did you know antelopes are depicted in stories around the world? Click through to see how other cultures represent this clever creature in their own stories and legends.

Vayu the Wind God (India)
Vayu the Wind God (India)

Each god or goddess in the Hindu pantheon has an associated animal (their "vehicle" on which they ride). Vayu, the god of wind, traditionally rides an antelope.

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Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755)
Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755)

An Indian antelope ('Black Buck') from Louis XV menagerie in Paris.

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A petroglyphic Saharan rock carving from southern Algeria depicting an antelope (Photo by Linus Wolf)

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Vayu the Wind God (India)
Vayu the Wind God (India)

Each god or goddess in the Hindu pantheon has an associated animal (their "vehicle" on which they ride). Vayu, the god of wind, traditionally rides an antelope.

press to zoom
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Global Collaborators

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Mal Stein, Composer
New York City

Mal is a much sought-after collaborator for choreographers around the world both as a percussionist and composer. In this video, he talks through his creative process—how he came up with themes and textures to support Preeti's storytelling.

Mal lives in the East Village of Manhattan with his partner Judy and a large collection of percussion instruments from around the world. You can groove to more of his sounds on SoundCloud here.

Bhumenjoy Konsam, Illustrator

Manipur, India

Bhumenjoy is a multi-talented illustrator and animator based in Manipur, in the far North East of India. He's worked with Preeti on many previous projects, and also works with major corporations as a commercial animator.

In 2008 Bhumenjoy directed a feature-length animated feature film called "Tiger Head", based on an epic tale from his native Manipur (see trailer here). His website is www.oomaibi.com

 
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Learn Interactive partnered with RCP on The Clever AntelopeThey deliver industry-leading manager development programs focused on key transitions in any individual's career.