Exciting dance events marked 2012
Delhi witnessed a plethora of dance events – ranging from Indian classical to Western and Contemporary this year.
Starting with beautiful solo classical dance performances - like those of Bharatnatyam dancers Soumitra Gopal and Sowmya Radhakrishnan, Kathak dancers Swati Wangnoo and Ashavari Majumdar, Kathakali exponents Evoor Rajendran Pillai and his student Risha Ramachandran and Astad Deboo (contemporary) – the mood then changed to classical ballets.
Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra brought about its Summer Ballet Festival featuring Karn in Mayurbhanj Chhau, Meera – delving on Rajasthan’s classical dance culture, and Parikrama – based on the Panchtattvas in Hindu mythology. As every year, the magnificent ballets were attended and appreciated by thousands of Delhiites.
Then arrived the season of dance festivals – some of them based on one dance form, others combining many. On the occasion of World Dance Day (April 29), Geeta Chandran’s Natya Vriksha School presented renditions by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Kalamandalam Amaljith (Kathakali), Satyapriya Iyer (Bharatnatyam) and Monisa Nayak (Kathak).
Then, the Capital’s only Odissi school Patitapawan Kala Niketan beautifully brought together various genres in Odissi dance under the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara Odissi Dance Festival.’
In August, celebrated dancer Geeta Chandran came up with a performance called ‘Gandhi - Warp and Weft.’ It thoughtfully combined the six ideologies of the Mahatma - religious unity, celibacy, Satyagraha, ahimsa, caste, shram and khadi. Hereafter, came the much awaited Ananya Dance Festival held at the majestic Old Fort. It included performances by Saroja Vaidyanathan and her troupe (Bharatanatyam), Rani Karnaa and troupe (Kathak), Vijayalakshmi (Mohiniattam) and Rudraksh Dance Company (Odissi).
Soon, it was time for Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s annual Ramlila. Over a period of a month (October), students of the premiere dance school reminded Delhiites of the legend of lord Ram through a spectacular dance-drama. This time, it focussed on Sita’s travails especially, delving on her haran (abduction), stay in Lanka and subsequent Agnipariksha.
The last two months of 2012 were truly a celebration of dance as troupes from different parts of the world came and performed in the Indian Capital.|
First in line was Moulin Rouge from France. Fourteen seductive lasses set the stage on fire with their breathtaking acrobatics and pleasantly shocking ‘Cancan dance’.
Then came, troupes from Scotland, Russia and Japan.
The Scottish Dance Theatre Company presented ‘Drift,’ ‘Dog’ and ‘Luxuria’ depicting a range of human emotions like loneliness, closeness, love, commitment, trust, desire and intimacy.
The Russian Bolshoi Ballet, Marinsky and Mikhailovsky Theatres, St. Petersburg performed as a part of the festival of Russian culture in India. They included the best classical and contemporary choreographies like Pas de Diane from Esmeralda, Adagio from Romeo and Juliet, The Duet of Anna and Vronsky from Anna Karenina, The Dying Swan and Grand-Pas from Don Quixote.
Lastly, on the 60th anniversary of Indo-Japan relations, Japanese artistes presented the fascinating Shinto dance. The compositions were inspired by Japanese mythological stories like that of King-Chuai slaying the demon Jin-rin, Ebisu – the God of fishing and Susanou no Mikoto – a smaller God exiled from heaven – who helps a couple save their daughter from a demon.
Without a doubt, Delhi had a culturally rich 2012. Surely, it looks forward to an equally eventful 2013. †