Dance

Two dance productions that celebrate the spirit of India and vision of Mahatma Gandhi

Rehearsal session at Regatta Naatya Sangeetha Kendra

Rehearsal session at Regatta Naatya Sangeetha Kendra   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

On Republic Day, Regatta Naatya Sangeetha Kendra stages ‘Mahatma’ and ‘Bharatiyar’ in connection with the finale of Nishagandhi Dance Festival

‘Mahatma’ and ‘Bharatiyar’, two new productions that reflect upon the past and the present of the country, will be staged on January 26, when the country celebrates the 71st Republic Day. Visualising the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the spirit of India, her vibrant culture and diversity, the productions will be the grand finale of this edition of the Nishagandhi Dance Festival.

Staged by students of Guru Girija Chandran’s Regatta Naatya Sangeetha Kendra, the programme was conceptualised as part of the nation-wide observance of 150 years of the Mahatma by her and her daughter and danseuse Madhavi Chandran.

Girija Chandran and Madhavi Chandran

Girija Chandran and Madhavi Chandran   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“‘Mahatma’ remembers the Father of the Nation, Gandhiji. The 25-minute piece is about his vision for India. Excerpts from Vallathol Narayana Menon’s poem, ‘Ente Gurunathan’ has been taken for the production. In this work, the poet pays tribute to Gandhiji, whom he considers his teacher,” explains Girija.

The dancers will bring on stage the protests he launched, his ideology, his way of life and how he led the country from the front against the might of the British empire.

Gandhiji’s vision

“Unfortunately, present-day India is totally different from what he had envisaged. We fight in the name of religion and caste. Through the presentation, which has freestyle choreography, we want to tell the people that we should be ashamed of failing him and that we should hope and work for an India of his dreams,” says Girija.

Neethu VM, an up-and-coming poet, has also written the lyrics of this choreography composed by Mathew T Itty. Sixty-five dancers from the institution are part of this production.

Eighty dancers pay homage to revolutionary poet and nationalist Subramania Bharathi in the second production, ‘Bharathiyar’. “We have taken lines from his poem, ‘Bharata samudayam vazhgave’, that extols the virtues of our country and inspires us to take pride in our culture and heritage. His verses instil patriotism, which is the need of the hour,” Girija adds. They will also dance to his famous poem, ‘Odi vilayadu pappa’, in which he addresses children. “He gave us a strong message against discriminating people on the basis of caste and religion,” Girija points out.

Sanskrit verses are also included in this presentation, which is 30 minutes long. “The lines remind us about our age-old practices and tradition and how we are expected to respect Nature, the earth and water,” she says. Abhiram Jayachandran is the composer.

The performance is at Nishagandhi auditorium on January 26 at 6.15 pm.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:36:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/two-dance-productions-that-celebrate-the-spirit-of-india-and-the-vision-of-mahatma-gandhi/article30642408.ece

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