Storytelling Dance

The accent of this dance was on movement

Vyshnavie Sainath

Vyshnavie Sainath   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

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The narrative provided Vyshnavie an ideal canvas to exhibit her skills

When an artiste, proficient in both yoga and dance, performs, the result is an alluring union of both. As one witnessed when Vyshnavie Sainath performed for the Narada Gana Sabha. She presented ‘Vinodham — The Story of A Sculptor,’ an adaptation from ‘Metamorphosis,’ the Greek play about Pygmalion and Galatea. It tells of a famous sculptor, who falls in love with his own creation.

At the behest of the king, the sculptor carves a sculpture of a woman. Made of ivory, it is so beautiful and perfect, he falls in love with it and ‘she’ comes alive to fulfil the desires of her creator. The narration of course has lessons and layers of interpretation typical of Greek drama.

Vyshanavie is multifaceted as she is also a scholarship holder from Goldman Sachs for Woman Entrepreneurship at IIM (Bangalore) and the only student who received it for Performing Arts (Dance) and is also in the process of doing her Ph.D. in dance. And the fact that she is a yoga instructor came in handy for a these such as this with poses, stances and postures that showed her skill and agility when it comes to implementing difficult asanas especially when incorporated into the dance format.

Tall and stately, Vyshnavie began her performance with a poem in praise of Siva. Executed with clean footwork, the piece, choreographed by Rajeswari Sainath, involved the cosmic dance and the power of Siva, giving Vyshnavie the scope to showcase the dynamics of movement interwoven with difficult asanas. Siva is Adiyogi, and the dependence on the yoga element seemed apt. Percussion (mridangam and tabla) set the mood to the ragamalika, lyric for which was by Su Ravi. The concept was by maestro Karaikudi Mani.

The focus of ‘Vinodham’ was on the way the sculptor worked on his sculpture, choreographed to highlight the dancer’s grip over laya and the ability to strike statuesque postures. Music was a strength of the production, Rajkumar Bharati giving it the right amount of drama and poignancy. Lyrics were by Kavi Kannan and the rhythmic jathis were by Karaikkudi Mani.

Much thought had gone into the costume — for instance, a simple change of the fan in front for different elements and moods enhanced the visual appeal. The dancer used several yards of blue fabric to invoke a bird taking wing. Also the use of panels with orange accentuated the lovely blue of the costume.

Providing excellent support on the vocal was Gomathi Nayagam. Karra Srinivas did the nattuvangam. The orchestra had Nagai Narayanan (mridangam) Sruthi Sagar (flute) and Kalaiarasan (violin). With lighting arrangements by Venkatesh, the short but intense production got its own brand of creativity!

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 2:43:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/the-accent-in-this-dance-was-on-movement/article30522435.ece

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