Dancing to please the gods

Pure Form

Dancing to please the gods

The temple dance of Bharatanatyam has an age-old history. Yet it is fascinating for the viewer.

Considered to be a manifestation of the element of fire, energetic choreography incorporating lyrical footwork are peculiar aspects of this classical dance form which has travelled across time to be accepted by the contemporary generation and rendered as art.

During the recently concluded Divinity Series - A festival of Bharatanatyam Dance, the aficionados of classical dance got a chance to get drenched in the renditions of mudras and abhinaya over three days. Three artistes – Rama Vaidyanathan, Meenakshi Srinivasan and Mythili Prakash performed on three consecutive days.

The opening performance by Rama Vaidyanathan comprised a Mayur Alarippu inspired from the peacock which is a symbol of grace and beauty. The dynamics of the Alarippu which are otherwise used in Bharatanatyam to capture the movements of this bird, were explored by the dancer through choreography.

While performing Varnam, she depicts a rare composition of the Tanjore Quartet where the heroine unabashedly expresses her love for Lord Vishnu and, celebrates oneness of Shiva and Parvati through beautiful Sanskrit verses of Adi Sankaracharya during Tillana.

The devotion to God is also the theme of Meenakshi Srinivasan’s choreography on second day. She invokes Lord Krishna who appears amidst the other cowherds like a blue lotus between the lilies. She depicts shringar rasa in Varnam before performing on a Meera bhajan.

What entices the audience is a brief explanation of her concept before every piece. Her energetic and fast dance movements leave the audience inawe. During Tillana, she conceives a piece where the Lord and devotee are one.

Equally engaging was the performance by Mythili Prakash on the final day where the young dynamic artist and a student of Malavika Sarukkai, took to impressing Lord Shiva. The centre piece of the evening, was a Varnam and adapted from the Krishna Karanamrutham Shlokam of Lilasuka. Her piece described the saguna beauty of Krishna and she too performed on a Meera bhajan.

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