Igniting thoughts through dance, Odissi-style

Artistry

Igniting thoughts through dance, Odissi-style

Through her recital, Sonal Mansingh spreads the message of women empowerment. It was a treat to watch the celebrated and renowned dancer Sonal Mansingh once again.

An expert who has to her credit over five decades of experience in two distinctive classical dance forms, Odissi and Bharatanatyam, the veteran dancer once more demonstrated her mastery in Odissi while performing at the IIC last week.

The hour long programme saw Sonal’s captivating performance focused on women power. She highlighted manifestations of goddess Durga and how she has fought evil. At the same time she also portrayed the contemporary state of women whose modesty is being outraged in a patriarchal setup.

Sonal’s genre of dance revolves around interesting episodes from ancient Indian scriptures. However, her performance was a bit different in terms of storytelling. The opening verse Matangi Shyamala Dandakam set the tone for Sonal’s recital and was dedicated to different forms of Durga. The act was not so intense but the thread of bhakti ran through every offering that she made. Her expressive mudras conjured up images of the goddess and her fight with the evil forces.

The composition was detailed and tightly interwoven as she portrayed 10 different avatars – from Mahishasurmardini to Mahakali. The switch from one to the next was natural and evocative. For a seasoned performer like Sonal it turned out to be an effortless presentation.

Through her recital, Sonal also raised the issue of the deplorable condition of women and the atrocities faced by them. Her motive was to spread the message of equality. She raised questions about the identity and dignity of women which is getting increasingly lost and was able to flesh out even the nuances. The performance was an appeal to everyone to understand the power of a woman because both men and women are but creations of God.

Sonal act’s was not like a typical recital. Instead, she explained every part of the recital before portraying it through her dance. It turned the performance into an occasion, where one was provoked into thinking.

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