Dance

Reconnecting with the body

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A dance production on The Chakras, the focal points in the body used in ancient meditation practises, will be showcased in Bengaluru

With collaborations across multiple art forms and traditions, the production, conceptualised by Raksha Sriram, presents evolution of human consciousness through the artistic expression of the chakras.

Multifaceted artiste Raksha Sriram tried poetry and painting initially to depict her understanding of ‘the chakras’ (used in various meditation practices). But that was more of an expression in the personal sphere. “My inner voice prompted me to take it to a larger audience and that’s how the stage production --The Chakras: Journey into Consciousness -- was born,” recalls Raksha, the creative director of the production.

“I was trying my best to get a sense of the concept of chakras. Understanding this theoretically was the beginning, but I wanted to go deeper than that. Something in me yearned to experience it in myriad ways. What else would be a better medium to do that other than dance?” thought Raksha, who’s trained in classical and contemporary dance forms. She immediately got her sister and long-time collaborator Divya Raghuram into the project. Divya, the executive director of the show, has brought into the team -- her production and theatre skills.

Working on this project, Raksha informs that she was getting a better perspective of herself and beginning to work more and more through her emotions. This was because chakras are related to one’s emotions and in turn to memories. “Therefore working with your memories leads to working with your energy bodies. And to incorporate this into our production we brought in rich music and personal life experiences.”

As music is a universal language, it connects people on an emotional level effortlessly. Flautist Ravichandra Kullur has composed music and the singers are Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, and Varija Venugopal. Giridhar Udupa and Pramath Kiran as percussionists and Varun Pradeep on the keyboard . Vocalist Siddhartha Belmannu and Maria Galenina have also contributed their soulful voices for this production.

“An elaborate workshop for four weeks was conducted where each of us shared our stories of shame, fear, grief, guilt and more. Later, based on participants’ experiences, the compositions, music and movement were conceptualised,” explains Veena Basavarajaiah, the choreographer.

The compositions consist of Kannada vachanas, Sanskrit shlokas, and Farsi and Hindi Sufi poems. Interestingly, we also have a song in Ukrainian. “It so happened that an Ukrainian student who was a participant of the workshop connected strongly to a song she knew and sang it. It moved us so much that it didn’t take a second thought for us to include it,” narrates Raksha.

This has made the production global in its appeal with compositions in so many languages and music and movement from various traditions such as Carnatic music, jazz, hip-hop, Kathak, Kalaripayattu and Bharatanatyam.

The Chakras will be premiered in Bengaluru at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on October 12, 7.30 p.m. and will tour the world in the coming days. For tickets, visit bookmyshow.com.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:40:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/reconnecting-with-the-body/article29643464.ece

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