Recreating the world, Lithuanian way

Temple of Flowers

Combining two different art forms, Lithuanian artists depicted creation of the world in the form of a modern dance called ‘Mandala – The Temple of Flowers’.

In the settings of India Gate, close to the Amar Jawan Jyoti, where the nation pays tributes to martyrs, the young dancers emerged from beneath the flowers scattered onground.

The dancers, hence, became a part of the artwork. No one could imagine that hundreds of colourful handmade wool-felt flowers had beautiful dancers underneath. Young ravishing dancers woke up to loud cheering by the crowds, for it seemed as though saints were rising up to pay tributes to the soldiers.

Matching steps to recorded rhythmic Indian and Lithuanian classical music, the performance eventually turned in beautiful renditions in dance form. The group had six artistes, four wool-felted textile artists and two dancers.

Along with the moves of traditional Lithuanian dance, the performance also had elements of Kathak by Kristina Luna Dolinina - a trained Kathak and Odissi dancer. She played a devdasi, while another dancer represented a Lithuanian temple girl dancing in front of God. The dancers represented the two related traditions of dance.

Diana Mickeviciene, Charge d’Affairs of the Embassy of Lithuania, which invited the group to perform under Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) says, “The dance represents creation of the world. There are two elements that are textile art and classical dance of Lithuania. It is also a representation of creation of a life.”

For around 45 minutes, the dancers performed on pre-recorded music, which again was an amalgamation of India and Lithuanian classical music. It was arranged by Kristina, who has been a disciple of Shovana Narayan, Teerath Ajmani, Sharon Lowen and Priyamvada Patnayak. Kristina has also been a recipient of the ICCR scholarship for MA in Hindi Language and Literature at JNU (2003- 2005).

Another dancer was Marija Vojevudzkaja - also an actor and choreographer well-known for her characters in various modern dance theatre performances especially mini performances. Mandala was conceptualised by Baltos Kandys, a team of six Lithuanian artists in 1998. They are all graduates in textile at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and have been working together for 13 years.

Beginning with India Gate, the group later performed at other locations in the City.

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