Dance

Elements of nature in dance form

Kuchipudi exponent P. Ramadevi, a well-known dancer, choreographer and author, has now donned the role of a ballet writer on the subject dealing with ‘Pancha Bhootas’ (five elements). The title ‘ Panchabhootatmkam Deham Pancheekaranam Natya Yogam’ means the dance too is the integral part of this ‘Pancheekaranam’. This ballet made its debut at Ravindra Bharati last week. The lyrics Rama penned for this new ballet hold considerable scientific and philosophic elements. Before presenting the ballet, Rama narrated the concept at length for the audience to understand.

‘Pancheekaranam’ was originally the concept of Adi Shankara who lived between 788-820 CE. He discussed about the manifestation through five elements leading to realisation of ‘Atma’, the self. ‘Omkaram’ that sounds ‘AUM’ is sum total of soul that is Atma. The body is confluence of all the five elements — earth, sky, water, air and fire.

‘Pancheekaranam’ means the merger of all the elements in different proportions with sensory organs. Anything made of Panchamahabhutha is called ‘Bhouthika’ – that is, physical with five ‘Pranaas’. The opening song Sankalu Baapumu in Nata was mandatory prayer to Lord Vinayaka, presented by Sadhvika, Divya, Prerana and Kruthika. The picture of Vinayaka could be seen on the screen. Later, there appeared another song Omkarapriye Nadahare. This was on Lord Siva, with the dancers presenting all the traits of the Lord and His persona holding Dhamarukam in hand and Agni (fire) in hands while he presents Tandava nritya. This was set in Revati raga. This was rendered in the Sankaracharya’s ashtakam format with eight stanzas and with jatis in finishing lines supported by mridangam and partly with konugolu (verbal jatis).

This was presented by two groups of five dancers each, representative of Panchabhootas. The artistes featured in this ballet were Sai Varsha, Satwika, Anvitha, Shreya K.Vaishnavi, Sangeetha, Sampada, Srini, Vaishnavi K.L. Akashara. The song was Panchabhootmakam Deham, Pancheekarana Yogam that has also made place in the title.

Guru Ramadevi conducted the show to vocal support of Srivalli Sarma and mridangam by Renuka Prasad. Others in the ensemble were Saikumar on violin, Venkatesh on flute and Sreedharachary on percussion. Surabhi Kishore’s stage craft went a long way in adding visual appeal of the show.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2021 5:43:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/p-ramadevi-presented-ballet-based-pancha-bhootas/article7231929.ece

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