Weaving messages into dance

In the wake of the exodus of the North-Eastern community from the City last month, a cultural programme was held recently to promote the message of national integration.

Yakshagana performance in progress.

Organised by ‘The Millennium Media’ along with the Department of Kannada and Culture and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the evening saw a blend of cultural programmes including a yakshagana recital, Apunba Sakatam, a piece featuring North-Eastern dances and a mohiniyattam recital.

The theme for the programme was national integration and this was carried forward in each and every recital. G Moses, the founder of ‘The Millennium Media’, says that for the last five years he has been conducting these events and has gotten tremendous support and encouragement from the audience. “We are so diverse and so proud of our roots that we forget to look at the bigger picture. We need to forget our own identities and colour ourselves in the celebration of integration and unity,” says Moses.

The evening began with a yakshagana recital by the artistes of Karnataka Kala Dharshijni. Being a dance-drama form that depicts largely mythological themes, it was rather interesting to see them weave the story around national integration. The tale was about a king, who is in conflict with another kingdom over a disputed region between two states.

“Yakshagana is a regional dance form and we thought we would make it more suitable for the audience of today by including the topic of national integration. The blend of these two perfectly brings out the sentiments that we wanted to express today,” Moses adds.

This was followed by a traditional Naga dance by a troupe. Dressed in colourful costumes, the troupe livened up the evening with their energetic performance. Soon after, Maya Vinayan — a dancer from Chennai — performed a ‘mohiniyattam’ recital. The people who had assembled there enjoyed the evening and some even felt that the message was very inspiring. “Showcasing a topic like national integration through dance forms was very innovative. I really enjoyed all the performances and feel there should be more such events as well,” says Janardhan, from the audience.

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