For the beaming moon and the sky

The event showcased various dance forms

For the beaming moon and the sky

The passage lined with palm trees leading to Purana Qila was engulfed in the sound of ghunghroos when Metrolife attended the 12th edition of the annual classical dance extravaganza, the Ananya Dance Festival 2013.

Reaching closer to the platform, the audience is bowled over by the silhouetted and illuminated structure of the fort with the dancers set in its foreground. Bedazzling the audience with multifarious dance forms, the five-day-long festival was a set of open-air performances that took place from 2 to 6 October at Purana Qila.

On the fourth day, it was turn for the Delhi-based Maitreyee Pahari’s group to mesmerise the audience with Kathak and Mayurbhanj Chhau. Set around the theme, Maharaas, the act was presented in three parts – Poorvaraag, Anuraag and Viraag. Maharaas entails the depiction of the night of Sharad Poornima, the first Poornima post monsoons when the atmosphere is incensed with a sense of purity. Interestingly, with  the set was put up under the open sky, the experience of seeing the dancers reaching out to the moon. 

Poorvaraag is enacted during Varsha Ritu to represent picturesque monsoon skyscape; depicting that the joy of monsoons is soon overcome by boredom, as the extended rainy season becomes dull and monotonous. The Nayikas yearn for the rains to stop and the moon to come out. Anuraag encompasses the first sighting of the beautiful crescent moon, when the preparations begin for the full moon night. The overriding emotion is one of joy, beauty and affection. Viraag is the realisation of the inevitable separation, be it between two beings or the soul from the body. It symbolises the pangs of separation from the Godhead, seeking reunion with divinity.

Concluding their performance with the last presentation titled, Moksha, the performers incensed the atmosphere with a sense of divine. Using fire and smoke as props for this act, they enhanced the appearance of the Old Fort.

The other performances this year were a Kathak recital by Malabika Mitra’s group from Kolkata; Mohiniattam by Pallavi Krishnan and group from Kerala; Odissi by Bindu Juneja and group from Bhopal; and Bharatanatyam by Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran’s group from Bangalore. As an attempt to bridge the distance between the performer on stage and the rasikas in the audience, a two-day interactive session, Pratibimb, was organised this year on 5 and 6 October to begin a dialogue between the practitioners and the audience.

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