NIAS Public Lecture: "Embodying Archetypes: Navarasas as Spaces of Emotional Transformation" by Padma Menon, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 1600hrs

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012


NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme

Invites you to a





“Embodying Archetypes: Navarasas as Spaces of Emotional Transformation”




Padma Menon

Founder of “Moving Archetypes”, Australia


Date : Thursday, 12th July, 2017

Time : 4.00 PM (Coffee/Tea: 3.30 PM)

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Chairperson: Prof. Sangeetha Menon, NIAS


Abstract: In the west, Carl Jung highlighted the role of archetypes as a framework for analysing our relationship with our life narratives and for self-reflection. However, theatre traditions in both eastern and western cultures have for many centuries, used archetypal portrayals in deliberate ways to construct relationships between the 'performance' and audience that would lead to specific outcomes on both sides. In the Red Book, Jung's experiments with symbolic and archetypal narratives resonate with some of the traditional ritual theatre traditions from India, especially in the role of symbolic art to express spaces of mystery. Natya Sastra has elaborated the Rasa theory which sets out in artistic, psychological and metaphysical terms the ways in which emotional states are embodied in ritual theatre. Drawing on the work of Carl Jung, James Hillman, Laban Movement Analysis and Natya Sastra, the presentation will interpret the Navarasa space as embodied contemplation. It will link the philosophical role of the arts in India to the psychological explorations of Jung in the Red Book and the work of James Hillman which suggested that arts was a potent way of symbolically expressing and expanding emotional states. It will examine the role of embodied ‘knowing’ as central to accessing Consciousness (Brahman) experience and the role of theatre traditions in moksha based philosophical approaches, specifically in the focus on emotional domains as sites of transcendence. Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) will be used as the lens for unpacking the Navarasa physicality as suggested in the Natya Sastra. LMA brings dance to its core expressivity and dismantles narrative frameworks which veil the contemplative potential of dance in current practices. The presentation will include demonstration of Padma Menon’s current project Moving Archetypes which aims to create spaces of embodied contemplation through dance.


About the Speaker: Padma Menon ( has an international career as a choreographer, facilitator, teacher and dancer. She trained under the legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam and was part of his company for fifteen years. She performed all over India in lead roles in his dance dramas as well as solo performances. When she moved to Australia, she led one of Australia’s first contemporary professional multicultural dance companies in the nineties. In 1994 she was awarded Canberra Times Artist of the Year.  She then moved to Europe and worked in renowned production houses creating and performing works in international festivals in the Netherlands, Germany and France. She also set up a dance centre in Kochi (Kerala) which partnered with human rights organisations and women’s shelters to create spaces of empowerment for women through dance.  Padma has a post graduate degree in English Literature and post graduate qualifications in Choreography from the Netherlands. Besides classical Indian dance, she has also studied contemporary western dance, Indian martial arts practice of kalaripayattu, yoga, Indian philosophical traditions including Advaita Vedanta and Counselling. Currently she is the founder of Moving Archetypes and teaches, presents and runs workshops all over Australia.


For more info write to: NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme<>


All are welcome


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Thursday, July 12, 2018