Dance

The power of FIVE

Guru G.V. Ramani Natya Kala Foundation and Gayatri Subramanian hosted the seventh edition of ‘Margazhi,’ a two-day dance festival, in memory of gurus G.V. Ramani and Ranganayaki Ramani, at the Marathi Sahitya Mandir Sabhagruh, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. “It gives me immense privilege to host the cream of talent in classical dance field,” said Gayatri Subramanian. She felicitated Manipuri exponent Darshana Jhaveri on the occasion.

Bhavajan Kumar began the morning’s event with Stuthi Pancharatnam, Ragatalamalika, choreographed by Guru Adyar Lakshman, propitiating deities of the Hindu pantheon starting Gajananam, Shadananam, Virupaksham, Shooladharini Devi and Vishnu.

The power of FIVE

‘Sankara Sri Giri,’ in Hamsanandi, choreographed by Leela Samson was the centre piece. In an energy packed performance, Bhavajan depicted the various dimensions of Lord Siva. ‘Naan oru Vilaiyattu Bommaiya’ in Navarasa Kanada, as choreographed by Bragha Bessel was steeped in pathos and piety.

Lalgudi’s thillana in ragam Madhuvanti, talam Adi, choreographed by Leela Samson, concluded the well appreciated recital by Bhavajan, his nritta and abhinaya complementing each other.

Dramatic presentation

Disciples of Gayatri Subramanian, presented Panchakam, the power of five. Conceived by Gayatri and choreographed by Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar, Panchadevata paid obeisance to five deities Ganesha, Siva, Shakti, Vishnu and Surya. For the last segment on Sun riding the seven chariots, dancers carrying lights in their hands, was dramatic. The piece symbolised the essential philosophy of Hinduism, to free oneself from rigorous rituals and seek the light within.

The power of FIVE

Simple in design and comfortingly colour coded, the costumes showed the attention to detail exercised by the guru for group composition.

Panchabana, concept by Gayatri, choreography and music composition by Shobhana Bhalchandra, was all about the Nayika in love — starting from meeting of the eyes, dreaming of union, dressing up eagerly, all decked to meet him, disappointed, the painful realisation that he is not keeping up his promise to devastated mental state, that is worse than death.

Manmatha, God of Love, wielding a bow with five arrows, was effectively enacted by Anand Satchidanandam, darting and targeting all over the stage; Rati was played by his real life counterpart Jayalakshmi. Swaram sequences of playing with flower balls, the nayika decking up, applying chandan and shedding tears were all well-enacted by the dancers in each segment.

Sanjukta Wagh’s Beej presented ‘The ant that swallowed the sun’ that explored women’s voices that have resonated across centuries. Five voices in five languages — Pali, Marathi, Bangla, Tamil and English — to go with Number five , the chosen theme, the deep search and awakening in Bhadda’s sixth century verse, 13th century Muktabai’s delightfully cryptic lines, 20th century feminist poet Kobita Shinha giving voice to Eve as she speaks her mind to God, Andal’s mystic call to her Lord in a sensuous outpouring and 20th century African American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks’ collective celebration of equality.

The power of FIVE

“These are five different worlds that moved us, inspired us, made us restless, gave us hope and delighted us. We pay tribute to these women’s voices that have shaped us. We express what we have received from these poems in the languages we know best… music and dance,” said Sanjukta Wagh. It was an offering in the memory of Ntozake Shange, path-breaking African American poet and playwright, who passed away on October 27, 2018.

We are today breeding a generation of youngsters who are addicted to sedentary digital games or rigorous sports training. Gone is the freedom of being natural and at ease, playing carefree traditional games like paandi, thattamalai, shatranj, gilly danda and so on. We have lost small pleasures, the fights, the making up, the spontaneity and the simplicity. This struck a flash in Prof. Chandrasekhar, as he was walking through a garden in Baroda and watched kids play hopscotch.

The power of FIVE

The spark translated into a dance production titled ‘Kreeda’ that has travelled all over the world. The dancers, ably tutored by Prof. CVC could transmit the simple joys of traditional open air games, in the idiom of Bharatanatyam, through well-coordinated moves and moods, highlighted by the effective music.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:53:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/choreographies-of-senior-gurus-featured-at-margazhi/article26137659.ece

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