Synchronising those elegant moves

Dance Performance


Aptly named after the most scintillating and sought after gemstone in the world viz the diamond — Vajra  was conceptualised by Umesh Ganjam and choreographed by Madhu Nataraj.

With elements of Kathak, Yoga and the Japanese martial arts discipline Ninjutsu, richly woven into its tapestry, the elegant yet stunningly simple costumes and the disciplined grace of dancers made for an extraordinary performance.

Besides, the obvious skill of the artists, the use of subtle special effects like lights, moving imagery and swords added a whole dimension to the overall impact of the ballet. Broadly divided into three segments, the first part of the performance was a blend of the classic traditions of Kathak and Yoga, strong, intense and very Indian. The dancers moved with studied elegance emerging out of a ring in perfect synchronisation and harmony.

The second segment revolved around the Japanese martial art form of Ninjutsu, which was practiced by Buddhist monks. Swords and controlled yet centred movements that are so typical of martial arts, lent an edgy yet philosophical aura to the piece. The third segment appropriately named, 'the dance of light'  truly brought to life the theme of the whole work viz: the sparkle, glitter and many facets of the diamond or Vajra.

The diamond is not considered merely a pretty stone but rather hard, brilliant and virtually indestructible. Reflecting this strength and power, the dancers glided through their movements almost ethereal in their grace yet strong and powerful in their interpretations.

“Adding Ninjutsu elements to this piece made perfect sense as Ninjutsu itself has strong Tantric traditions embedded in its practices.” “When Madhu approached me to collaborate in this production, I knew it would work, as Buddhism really spread through the East through martial arts. Killing off the ego is symbolised by beheading the person so that the real self can emerge and submit to a higher power,” said Nikolaj Keilland, Ninjutsu master who has been intensely involved in the production.

The music was a superb blend of Western and Indian traditions and harmonised the whole productions beautifully. “Vajra is a symbol of indestructibility and an ideal metaphor for the resilience of the human spirit which strives for perfection often in spite of itself,” said Nataraj.

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