The audience walked out in awed silence that evening. Sonal Mansingh and her troupe had cast a spell on them. The second day of Yaksha 2011 at Isha Foundation proved to be a day of sheer delight. The musicians' resounding conch kick-started the performance at 6.45 p.m. sharp. Ms. Mansingh's troupe first took the stage with an invocation to Lord Ganesha. With all the trappings of a traditional and auspicious beginning, the dancers brought in the kalasam along with an oil lamp. The short performance set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Sonal Mansingh then presented her first performance of the day. A paean to Goddess Durga, Ms Mansingh danced, not just with her hands and feet, but with her expressive eyes. Whether it was love, wrath or benevolence, her eyes did all the talking. Every mudra and bhavam was filled with grace and a pleasure to behold. Her expressions spoke volumes. The accompanists rose to the occasion with their rendition of ‘Bhavani..', a song of praise to the devi.
Ms Mansingh explained the significance of her next presentation – that of the navarasas of Lord Shiva. Her very own composition, she explained how it came about. Beginning with the vivaham (wedding) of Shiva and Parvathi, she went on to elaborate on the story behind every rasa performed.
The story of Markandeya, the sixteen-year-old lad who was saved from the clutches of Yama by Lord Siva, came alive with her dance. The performance was easily the highlight of the evening. Ms Mansingh breezed through the navarasas with class and practised perfection. The evening ended with Shiva Dhyanam, for which Ms Mansingh and her troupe culminated to rapturous applause.