Invoking the divine

DELIGHTFUL DANCES

GRACEFUL Dancers performing Silhouette.

This was as part of their first Vishwa Kala-Nadam Festival of Classical Dance in association with Rangoli Dance Company. Shivaya — a tribute to Lord Shiva and the five great elements, the sacred five syllables, the sound, stillness and movement of the universe — was choreographed by Malathi Iyengar, the brainchild behind the Rangoli Dance Company.

“The name Shivaya represents the five elements and transcends boundaries and reaches out to people of all cultures. It helps an individual attain spiritual satisfaction and complete bliss,” she said. Dancers from Chennai, Bangalore and Los Angeles were a part of this recital.

The audience waited eagerly for the performance to begin. The recital started with a prayer to Lord Ganesha by an Italian dancer Lucrezia Maniscotti. It was indeed a charming performance with Lucrezia’s vibrant movements depicting the emotions and invoking the lord with great devotion.

This was followed by Chandrachooda, a composition by Purandaradasa, extolling Lord Shiva and his attributes. The dancers conveyed the lord’s characteristics of grace and furiousness with great elegance. 

Up next was was a piece called Mayura in Chhau, an Odissi folk dance form.
This represented the peacock’s dance of joy at the approach of rain. The rigorous movements and graceful gestures depicted the pride, vanity and beauty of the bird.

The most interesting piece was Nagendra Haraya, a composition by Adi Shankaracharya, representing the five elements. This piece, presented with great finesse and astounding acrobatics, received a loud applause.

Following this was Silhouette, a dance representing pure joy with a combination of both Bharatanatyam and Kathak. After this was Pancha Maha Bhootha, yet another combination of Western, Hindustani and classical music and dance. It was a treat to see the dancers perform with great balance and co-ordination.

Manjula, an IT professional who was at the performance, said, “It is nice to see people across boundaries taking to Indian art forms and cultures. It was thrilling
to watch such an amazing show and also see foreigners perform here.”

Sathyabhama, a homemaker, said, “It was great to watch such a power-packed performance. I could relate myself to it and realise that there’s so much to learn from nature and the energy we receive from the cosmos.”

The last piece was a medley by the Rangoli Dance Company which had the entire cast performing in it.

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