Classical versus contemporary
The Capital witnessed dancer/choreographer (Padmashri) Geeta Chandran’s innovative endeavour in nurturing and encouraging young artistes over the weekend, through the celebration of World Dance Day with Natya Vriksha’s presentation of Young Dancers Festival, at the India International Centre Auditorium.
On the occasion, Chandran said, “Dancers are the dance! And I am delighted that so many dancers were here to celebrate dance.”
Among the dancers: Pandit Birju Maharaj, Guru Singhajit Singh, Guru Bharati Shivaji, Gurus Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, Guru Madhavi Mudgal, Guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan, Dancers Justin McCarthy, Prerana Shrimali, Jayalakshmi Eshwar, Pratibha Prahlad, young dancers Aarushi Mudgal, Monisa Nayak, Sneha Charadhar, Sharanya Chandran; scholars Kapila Vatsyayan, Pavan K.
Varma, Arshiya Sethi; Critics Leela Venkataraman, Manjari Sinha and Shanta Serbjeet Singh.
Day one (April 25) of the festival saw launch of renowned dance critic Leela Venkataraman’s book Indian Classical Dance: The Renaissance and Beyond and Navadarshanam performance of group choreographies by senior dancers of Natya Vriksha Dance Company. International film Vara was also screened. Vara is an international film. Geeta Chandran has received attention for the intensity of her abhinaya in the film, directed by the award-winning Bhutanese film Director Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, an entry at the Goa IFFI. Vara premiered at the 18th Busan International Film Festival in Korea, the London Film Festival’s ‘Love’ section and the 50th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Geeta Chandran plays the role of a devadasi and her students in the movie.
Day two (April 26) saw Dharohar Bharatanatyam performance by Natya Vriksha Dance Company and Rasa in Dance – Inspiration and Imagination. An illustrated talk by Guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan (Chennai) on theory to practice, exploring and drawing inspiration from parallels in Art also featured. Lakshmi took Rasikas on a journey of imagined and real beauty. The day also saw Kuchipudi performance by T Reddi Lakshmi and Kathak performance by Vishal Krishna of Benares.