Creativity in full bloom

Updated - November 01, 2016 06:40 pm IST

Published - September 15, 2016 09:52 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Dancer Divya Ravi explored the many facets of flowers, linking them to spirituality and mythology, in her new choreography, ‘Manjari.’

Divya Ravi

Divya Ravi

Divya Ravi brought forth aspects of Kalakshetra and Pandanallur styles in her Bharatanatyam presentation in Kochi. A protégée of Soundarya Srivathsa, Divya presented a brand new choreography ‘Manjari.’ Choreographed by the dancer herself, it had most pieces of a margam. ‘Manjari,’ to the dancer, is an ode to the magic that resides in flowers. The theme covers the many aspects of flowers that are unexplored or unthought-of.

‘Vikasita’ was in the alaripu format of 13 beats, in which Divya explored the ample scope of space. The central piece ‘Padma’ was set in the format of a Varnam in ragamalika and Adi tala. The lyrics ‘Paramapavana Padma’ were a mix of Sanskrit and Kannada.

Like a lotus is surrounded by murky water, so is the human soul covered by the vices of anger and lust, yet the inner light of the soul or ‘Atmajyoti’ shines forth. This was delineated through subtle emotions and the dancer demonstrated her interest in nuanced abhinaya. She demonstrated the concept of the Chakras of the human body, their propinquity to the lotus and their spiritual significance.

The dancer beautifully captured the blossoming of a lotus at the first touch of the sun rays, with the lines ‘Prabhakarana pranapriye.’ The interim jathis exemplified sophisticated choreography and Divya’s sense of aesthetics and technique shone through the entire item. While the first half was devoted to the spiritual significance of the lotus, the second explored the mythological aspects.

The dancer depicted the birth of Subrahmanya in a lotus and also the lotus-eyed goddess.

In the item ‘Parijatha’, Divya chose the much told story of Satyabhama in a javali, ‘Kutila Kuntala Kanthude’. Her anger when Krishna gives the flower to his wife Rukmini, moves to sadness and then one of pride that only she deserves to wear it. Divya brought out the transition of emotions in a woman’s love, longing and conceit admirably. She also sketched the beauty of the flowers of Vrindavan.

She elaborated a padam ‘Garvam Ilayeer’ in which the Ketaki flower exhorts the human race to give up pride, narrating its own plight of having fallen from the grace of Lord Shiva because she lied. Divya executed the swan and boar movements of Brahma and Vishnu splendidly. There was immense drama as she portrayed the curse and the fall of the flower and the mood was heighted with the strains in raga Kalyanavasantham.

‘Latangi’ in thillana format, set in Khanda chapu, explored the role of flowers beyond the life processes, in worship and decoration at the same time keeping with the demands of rhythmic variety and choreography. The programme was organised by Dharani Society.

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