Dance

Celebrating the power of ‘Sakthi’

What better way to celebrate women than through dance and song?

Apeksha Dance Art Academy (ADAA), in association with P. L. Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy hosted Mahila Kala Utsav at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Mini Hall. Bhavani S K and guru Jayashree Nair inaugurated ‘Padarpan.’

Harinie Jeevitha and Bhairavi Venkatesh, senior disciples of Sheela Unnikrishnan presented ‘Sakthi’ the feminine energy. The opening duet was extracted from Janani Jagat Karini, popular ballet of the dance school, depicting the goddess as the benevolent bestower of kaam and arth.

Slokam ‘Manikya Veena’ preceded ‘Sharada Kavuthuvam’ (Kalavati, Misra Chapu) and highlighted the various aspects of Saraswati. The next was Lakshmi bhajanam (Ragamalika, Adi) ‘Kamalamba,’ the mother on the pink lotus. Virutham composed by B.M. Sundaram and ‘Omkara akarini’ (Lavangi, Adi, Balamuralikrishna) was a picturesque exploration. Goddess Sri Rajarajeswari was celebrated in a detailed mangalam ‘Aani ponnal seyda.’

The creative choreography by the guru was rendered by both Harinie and Bhairavi with grace.

Considering the time allotted, long prelude music and narration could have been trimmed to accommodate more pieces. Using Marathi compositions enhanced audience interest and involvement.

Thematic concert

Taking forward the evening’s theme, singer Subramanian presented a concert, ‘Shakti Vandana,’ an ode to women power. Bharatiyar’s ‘Vaiyam Muzhudum’ glorifiying Shakti as the power that creates, sustains the universe and refines mankind was the prayer. The singer explained the concept of Shakti in the Sanatana Dharma, interpreted across different philosophies and cultures. “Starting from the Vedic period, it gained prominence in Puranic literature wherein the Goddess was represented as a symbol of strength. The wars of the Goddess with demons such as Bhandasura, Mahishasura, Shumba and Nishumba were perhaps the earliest references of an ‘all women’ army,” explained the singer. ‘Shakti’ in the Vedic tradition was both the physical form and the qualities that made the woman. This was illustrated by verses from the Devi Mahatmyam cataloguing Shakti as hunger, thirst, sleep, compassion, thought, memory, intelligence, patience, motherhood and other natural feelings experienced by all of us. He further spoke on four great women from our history. Few phrases from the Dikshitar’s ‘Mamava Meenakshi’ in Varali highlighted Meenakshi as a symbol of supreme courage, power and administrative capabilities.

Muktabai and Janabai, two women saints of Maharashtra from different strata of society, attained the same goal of realising god through devotion. Subramanian interspersed this with a few lines from their abhangs, ‘Avaghachi samsar,’ ‘Nama Vithobache ghyave’ and ‘Jondhalyachya bhakrichi.’

The story of Mirabai is well known. A born princess and married to royalty, she defied all social norms and followed her heart. ‘Pyare darsan’ and ‘Pagh ghungru’ illustrated her surrender to Krishna.

‘Modern woman’ (Pudumai Penn) as visualised by Bharati in ‘Nenjukku Neediyum’ should be the dispenser of justice, firm in her stand and ready to wield the sword if needed to fight injustice, but be free from negative qualities like malice, back stabbing andrevenge. To such a woman, the world would bow down in respect. Detailed research of content and singing with a full-throated voice made the presentation both informative and interesting. Subramanian was supported by Dakshinamurthi K and Prashanth BK.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 2:46:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/celebrating-women/article26664629.ece

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