Poetry will find expression through the idiom of Bharatanatyam when Janaki Rangarajan takes the stage at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, T.Nagar on July 4, 7 p.m., to premiere her latest production, ‘Voices.’ The show, which is being presented in connection with the Yagnaraman July Fest, will see the coming together of the spoken word, song and dance in a seamless blend.
The U.S.-based Janaki, a protégé of Padma Subrahmanyam, says, “The seed for ‘Voices’ rose from inspiration that I drew from the Persian mystic Rumi’s poetry. That led to an exploration of poetry by Pablo Neruda, Jaishankar Prasad, Pramila Venkateswaran and Amir Khusrau.”
The music was specially composed by Dr. Rajkumar Bharati and Sudha Raghuraman.
Janaki says, “I am collaborating with theatre artist V. Balakrishnan of Theatre Nisha to weave in spoken recitation of poetry throughout the production as well as an experimental duet using Sangam poetry. The languages used are Tamil, English, Hindi and Persian and the music will range from Carnatic and Hindustani to Sufi.
We are interpreting the essence of the poetry in our own voices through movement and sound.” On the challenges of bringing ‘Voices’ to life, she says, “One of the biggest challenges was to understand the flow and essence of different poems and weave them seamlessly into the production. Even though I read many poems, only a handful of them moved me. And, I had to keep researching until I had poems that I completely believed in. Also, it was challenging to find ways to collaborate with artists who live thousands of miles away. But, that’s also what makes it interesting. Thanks to the internet, communication has become a lot easier. At a personal level, my biggest challenge was to try something new and push myself out of my comfort zone.”