Jugalbandhi of rhythms

Dance lovers can look forward to "Saa or aval (She)", a dance drama by Nina Rajarani and Pali Chandra on November 18. A curtain-raiser.

THE DHANANJAYANS' Bharatha Kalanjali presents Nina Rajarani and Pali Chandra in "Saa or aval (She)", a dance drama that celebrates a woman's capacity to accomplish the impossible.

Through two contrasting dance pieces, Nina Rajarani and Pali Chandra embark on a journey of self-discovery. In "Yagna", the modern woman finds herself frequently changing roles. From mother to protector, wife to career woman, homemaker to nation builder... the emotions of love, passion, protection, endurance and peace are celebrated within the piece.

In "Khamoshi Ki Awaaz", an abstract piece, the dancers are given the freedom to express their interpretation of silence, where each sound is interpreted based on personal experiences.

"Bharatanatyam and Kathak are widely different in style and presentation," says Nina. Bharatanatyam is strong, sharp and linear in movement, while Kathak is fluid, almost lyrical. The two diverse styles are brought together with live music for "Yagna", composed by Pushkala Gopal, and a recorded score for "Khamoshi Ki Awaaz", composed by Shankar Mahadevan and A. Sivamani.

Both new mothers, Nina and Pali were drawn together to create the new work of art as their emotional experiences are very similar. The duo hopes to retain the authenticity of their dance forms. Nina Rajarani trained under Prakash Yadagudde at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's London branch, during which time she also had additional training with Chitra Visweswaran of Chennai, during Chitra's visits to London. Nina was awarded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Diploma in Bharatanatyam in 1986, and in 1987 she had her arangetram. Since 1988, she has been training under Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan. In 1989, the Arts Council of England in conjunction with ADiTi (the national organisation for South Asian Dance in the U.K.) awarded Nina a scholarship to undergo an intensive training with the Dhananjayans in Chennai. Pali Chandra trained for 15 years under Late Guru Vikram Singh, Pt. Ram Mohan Maharaj and Kapila Raj in Lucknow. She is an internationally recognised performing artiste. A gold medallist, she has won the prestigious Lachchhu Maharaj Award. She was honoured in the House of Commons at the Westminster as the artistic director for her production "In the Shadow of the Hills", performed in the Millennium Dome in London.

"Saa or aval (She)" by Nina and Pali will be presented on November 18, 7 p.m. at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.

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