Art in motion

PERFECT STEP Dancers of the Natya Stem Dance Kampini. DH PHOTOS by VASU M N

The Natya Stem Dance Kampni in association with Ganjam presented Vajra, their brand new production, in the City recently. Conceived by Umesh Ganjam and produced by the danseuse Madhu Nataraj, this production aimed to communicate the true essence of Vajra.

The production attempted to get to the core of Vajra (more evolved than a
diamond, it is an ancient philosophical construct) by delving deep into its mysticism. Madhu Nataraj, the choreographer said, “Vajra fuses together elements of Tantra, Buddhism, ritualistic, classical martial arts, visual and auditory forms as a powerful Mandala, which to me is the cosmic floor plan of life itself.”

The production offered three pieces, each examining a different aspect of the Vajra: Born Through the Womb of the Cosmic Waters, Raiko — The Pulse of Brilliance, The Dance of Light. Each set was markedly different from the others. For instance, while Raiko was characterised by straight lines, angles, a deep sense of foreboding, The Dance of Light was more fluid and flamboyant. The former attempted to capture the indestructible quality of Vajra using Samurai Swords and the latter used flashlights as props to capture the reflecting, refracting quality of a diamond.

Madhu’s choreography was nuanced and original. The dancers, Janardhan Raj Urs, Ramya Nagaraj, Ponnamma Devaiah, Vineet Kumar Nigam, Keerthi Kumar and Madhu in flirty white costumes or the elegant purple ones were a sight for the watchful eyes. They tackled the complex choreography with glorious grace.
 
Being a mixed-medium production Vajra was a collaborative production that brought together many names. Animation, photo art, stage props, the use colours, the costumes, even the smoke machine (for once) were all designed to evoke responses.  

Music, compiled and composed by Praveed D Rao, added depth. Ramya Reddy’s photo art was evocative, costumes by Chandrashekar were beautiful.
    Shashidhar Adapa created a set that was clutter free and well thought out. Lights by Sai Venkatesh was excellent.

    The animation and video art by Archana Prasad helped centre the movement on stage. Nikolaj Kielland served as the martial arts consultant and if the performance on stage was anything to go by, then it was a job well done.

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