Savitha Sastry, an exponent of Bharatanatyam dance mesmerised the audience as she showcased ‘Soul Cages’, a new artistic experience that captures the cycles of life and death as a journey, rather than an end in itself.
The event that was held at Kamani Auditorium recently narrated a ballet that literally spoke to the heart. The ‘Soul Cages’ brought to life, a deeply thought provoking philosophy through mythological characters and ordinary people.
This intoxicating blend of classical dance with a story line rooted in timelessness made the presentation one of a kind in the arena of dance, music and theatre. The richness of the music came from the creative genius of its composer Rajkumar Bharathi and his use of an orchestra of master performers, recorded to perfection in a studio that is also often used by music composer and songwriter A R Rahman.
The ‘Soul Cages’ redefines not just one’s perception of the cycles of life and death, but also explains the boundaries that tradition has placed on the expressiveness of Bharatanatyam. The presentation is driven by its story and concept, thus proving that Bharatanatyam is indeed the most versatile and expressive tool to bring any theme to life. The lovers of this dance form were enthralled by the sophistication and nuances in the presentation.
“Sex has been a part of Bharatanatyam since the time the dance was practiced by the devadasis. It is still the most common theme in Bharatanatyam, although cloaked under a veil of spirituality. Yes, death has rarely been explored as it is considered a taboo topic. But I have used death only because it is a taboo, not because it is integral to the story being told through this new production. There is no sex in my theme and the balance of life and death is explored dramatically,” says Savitha.
The danseuse is a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam, the dance form of Southern India that has its cultural roots in ancient history. She is also known for enthralling audiences with performances that embody perfection in form and joy in expression, an intelligent fusion that comes from years of rigorous training, dedicated practice, and passion.
The dance journey of this illustrious artiste commenced at the age of six under the guidance of guru Mahalingam Pillai of the Raja Rajeshwari Dance Academy in Mumbai. Her debut performance was at the age of nine at the Asthika Samajam, Mumbai.
Savitha is an empanelled artiste with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. She has performed across India, the Middle East, Australia, South East Asia, Europe, and the United States. She was recently featured as a soloist in the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival held at the Palace of Fine Arts.