The pole dance of Indira is done before a performance to ward off evil.  Indira ordered a pole to be wrapped in cloths of five different colours, each being dedicated to a deity. The first was the white for Brahma; next came blue for Vishnu; then green for Siva; the fourth was red for Karthikeya, the God of war; and last came a multicoloured wrapping for Nagaraj, the king of snakes.   
(‘Indian dancing’ by Ram Gopal & Serozh Dadachanji)

Whirling dance, which is the practice of the Mevlevi Order in Turkey, is just one of the physical methods to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). (Mevlevi comes from a Persian poet whose shrine is in Turkey and who was a Dervish himself). When they reach Fana they are not aware of the world around and have connection with Allah.

Kumudini Lakhia’s life and work are the focus of the book ‘Movement in Stills: The Dance and Life of Kumudini Lakhia’ by Reena Shah.

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