Millennium Post

Capital to witness a magnificent Kathak solo

Capital to witness a magnificent Kathak solo

Seventeen-year-old, Dhriti Swarup, shishya of the esteemed guru, Padmashri Dr Shovana Narayan, will be performing a solo Kathak recital at Triveni Auditorium, New Delhi, on July 28. The event will be presided over by Dr Shovana Narayan.

Dhriti started her training in Kathak as a seven year old little girl, under Guru Tirath Ajmani, who is Shovanaji's Guru-Bhai. Under the aegis of ASAVARI, established by Shovanaji in 1979, Dhriti has been trained to be a highly proficient dancer replete with technical and abhinaya skills and an intense grounding in the theory of Kathak.

A staunch believer in guru-shishya parampara, Shovana has inculcated in Dhriti her own sensitivities of righteous practice and trust. Under her expert guidance and after 10 years of intense riyaaz, she performed her 'Manch Pravesh' last year at the India International Centre, New Delhi.

Currently a student waiting to start her liberal arts graduation course at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, Dhriti finds herself involved in photography, social service, and Indian classical vocal music.

As a devotee of dance, Dhriti will dedicate the opening performance of the event to the lord. She will start with 'Rudrashtakam', a composition by Sant Tulsidas. This is an invocation to lord Shiva – the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe by destroying negativity, evil, ignorance and death.

The Rudrashtakam will be followed by a gat nikas, depicting the story of Sati. Daksha, Sati's father, organises a yagna, inviting all the gods, goddesses and princes, excluding his daughter and her husband, but Sati insists on going to the yagna. On seeing her, Daksha gets angry and Sati immolates her mortal body in scorching flames. Shiva, angered and grief-stricken, then performs the fearsome tandava dance with Sati's charred body on his shoulders. During this dance, her body comes apart and the pieces fall on earth.

Following this, Dhriti will perform teen taal, consisting of sixteen matras. The dance is said to be the first stepping stone for any dancer, singer, or musician. This piece will be a combination of thaat, pirmilu, upaj and footwork in which she will strive to exhibit her command over the nuances which define a true Kathak exponent.

The next abhinaya will be thumri malika consisting of two pieces. The first is 'Kanha bin' – lyrics by Dr Shovana Narayan and Pandit Jwala Prasad. The second 'Chhado langar', portrays the ecstasy of Radha as the faint strains of Krishna's flute fall on her ears.

This will then be followed by a rendition of dhamaar – a taal consisting of 14 matras.

The last piece of the performance will be a soulful mix of an Urdu couplet, a Bhajan by Surdas, poems by Lalita Devi, Harivanshrai Bachchan and Malik Mohammed Jayasi. Conceptualised by Dr Shovana Narayan and guru Lalita Narayan and choreographed by Dr Shovana Narayan, 'Chaand', set to Pandit Jwala Prasad's dulcet music, portrays the moon in all its dynamic elements: as an object of a child's fascination, as a symbol of romance, of desire, and as an integral part in all earthly phenomena.

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