Myriad expressions of Indian dances

Classical panorama

The ‘January Dance Fest’, organised by the World Dance Alliance recently, was a wonderful amalgamation of Indian dances. Held at Smriti Nandan, Palace Road, the event was attended by a number of dance-lovers as it features two talented dancers — Vrata Chigateri and Jayant Kastaur.

While Vrata Chigateri, who had come all the way from England to be part of this event, performed a beautiful kuchipudi recital, world-renowned kathak exponent Jayant Kastaur presented a lecture demonstration on kathak which enlightened the members of the audience about the different facets of  kathak.

The programme started with Veena Murthy Vijay, the head of World Dance Alliance, addressing the audience and speaking about the aim of the festival. Soon after this, the guests of honour including Vikram Vishwanath, Honorary Council, Republic of Peru, and Asha Gopal, director, Arathi School of Dance, USA, lit the lamp. “It’s great to see that NRI artistes are being given a platform here and encouraged to perform in their own country,” said Asha while Vikram said, “Such events ensure that we don’t lose our roots. Hope more such programmes are organised in the City.” 

Vrata started the evening with a mesmerising performance dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Hamsadhwani Raga. In praise of the lord through out, the dance ended beautifully with the graceful dancer bowing down to the God. Up next was a performance depicting an excerpt from Bhama
Kalapam, written by Siddhendra Yogi, an architect of kuchipudi dance belonging to the 15th century. The excerpt was all about proud Princess Satyabhama who writes a letter to her beloved — Lord Krishna.”

Vrata ended her performance with Ardhanareeshwara, which combined tandava depicting the masculine and lasya depicting the feminine. Her changing expressions of anger and grace held the audience captivated through out this piece. Post her performance, Vrata addressed the audience and said, “I stay in England and many people staying abroad envy all of you staying here in India as you have a lot of opportunities available here. However, I am a complete Bangalorean at heart.” 

The later part of the evening was dedicated to the beautiful dance of ‘kathak’, where in Jayant Kastaur, gave a lecture as well as performed beautifully for the members of the audience. Said Nitin, a young dance-lover, “I don’t know much about classical dances. I have learnt about them by watching them on TV. Watching kuchipudi live here was an amazing experience. Programmes likes these should be advertised and held more often.” 

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