Krishna's hallIsaka dance

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 18 18:39:03 UTC 1999

"hallIsaka" is a circular dance often mentioned as one of
Krishna's bAlacarita episodes. Let us look at a Sanskrit dictionary.
Monier-Williams (1899: 1293 b), for instance, records:

  halliiza m. 'one of the 18 uparuupakas or minor dramatic
  entertainments (described as a piece in one act, consisting chiefly
  of singing and dancing by one male and 7, 8 or 10 female performers;
  perhaps a kind of ballet)' (Saahitya-darpaNa); n. 'a circular dance
  (performed by women under the direction of a man)' (DaNDin's
  Kaavyaadarza)  halliizaka m. n. 'a kind of dance'
  (= preceding)(Kaavyaadarza)
  halliiSa, halliiSaka m.n. 'id. (= the same)' (lexicographers)
  halliisa m.n. 'id.' (Hemacandra)
  halliisaka m.n. 'id.' (PancadaNDachattra-prabandha);
  'a kind of musical instrument (v.l. jhalliiSaka)' (HarivaMza)
  Also, hallIsakam (Vaatsyaayana, Bhaasa, Abhinavagupta,
  VaagbhaTa, Bhoja).

How is the name of the dance, attested in several texts, coined?

N. Ganesan

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