Dance

A trip down memory lane

Family and disciples of Guru Kala Sadan Mani gathered at the Swatantryaveer Savarkar Auditorium, Shivaji Park, Dadar, to commemorate his contribution and competence in the field of Sanskrit, music and dance, on the occasion of his 96th birth anniversary, celebrated recently.

“Our father valued these three branches and was proficient in all of them. To cherish his memory we felicitate three renowned persons, proficient in these three fields,” informs Natrajgopal, son of Guru Mani, mridangist, dance guru and administrator.

Retro memorabilia

H.B. Easwar, family friend and Chinmaya mission volunteer, spoke of ‘Mani ammanji’ giving humour-laced information. Manipuri exponent Darshana Jhaveri recalled her association and that of her three sisters with Guru Mani and Kala Sadan.

Guest of honour, Shailesh Srivastava, assistant director, Programme, Mumbai Doordarshan, a singer trained under Pt. Rajan and Pt. Sajan Mishra, paid her respect by singing Geeta slokam.

Congratulating the family for carrying forward their father’s dream, she said, “A teacher shows the way and inspires youth.”

A.N. Seshan, a Sanskrit scholar, associated with Sankara Math, Matunga, from an young age, has worked as its committee member, and has 70 years of involvement in religious activities.

Trained in Sanskrit and sastras under Acharya Venkateswara Dikshitar, Seshan is now teaching Sanskrit to interested students at the Math. Acknowledging the honour, he spoke in lucid Sanskrit and invited those interested to learn the language at the Math.

Hindustani vocalist Swami Chaitanya Swarupdas, who embraced the Bhakti margam under Guru Swami Shreevallabhdas, rendered a few songs and engaged the audience on the occasion.

Odissi dance exponent Debi Basu, senior disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, is a performer and a dedicated teacher, carrying on the legacy of her guru. She thanked Kala Sadan for recognising her and wished them further growth and glory.

Post the felicitation, students of Kala Sadan presented a Bharatanatyam recital ‘Vande Guru Parampara.’

Conceptualised and directed by Natrajgopal, choreographed by Sharada Ganesan, the presentation featured Pushpanjali, Adi Sankaracharya’s Siva Panchakshara stotram and thillana. Ganesha and Saraswati were propitiated through well-rehearsed group presentation, Saraswati on lotus and Brahma-Vishnu-Siva poses were graphic.

A trip down memory lane

Siva as five elements

‘NaMaShiVaYa,’ the five holy letters signifying Siva, the Lord who encompasses the five elements within him, was conveyed by thirteen dancers.

A trip down memory lane

Siva torches Manmada with his third eye, Uma pleads for the lamenting Rati and Uma unites with Siva for procreation of Murugan, the powerful seed emerging from the Trinetra in the form of blazing fire, which split into six forms, united again as Arumugam; ardhanareeswara dance, Daksha’s Yagna, Samudra Manthan, and the descent of the Ganges were some of the interesting episodes that had ample scope for abhinaya.

A trip down memory lane

Scenes such as Rati plucking flowers for Manmada’s bow, Dakshayani, (upset with her father’s indifference) walking into the fire, which was depicted by alternate ascend and descend of dancers, the snake dance (Aadu Paambe) to show the manthan and the image of Ganga flowing fast and furious then gliding down to slow and serene pace, were well enacted.

The concluding thillana with rhythmic mridangam and morsing sounds, listing poses of Siva, was a visual poetry.

A trip down memory lane

Lighting by Ranganath was effective. Use of smoke effect intermittently did not add value.

Sharada Ganesan on nattuvangam, Sriram Narainswamy on vocal, N. Krishnan on mridangam with N.R. Ganesan on the morsing providing excellent rhythm support and Satish Seshadri on melodic violin enhanced the appeal.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 10:48:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/guru-kala-sadan-mani-remembered/article25320922.ece

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