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Confluence of Yoga and Classical dance

To mark the occasion of International Yoga Day, events and yoga sessions are organised on June 21 across the world. But Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, unlike others, celebrated the day in an interesting and unconventional style.

Well-known Bharatanatyam Guru Swagatha Sen Pillai came with a concept of converging Yoga with Indian traditional classical dance forms.

To get the desired results, workshops were planned with veterans of the particular dance forms and the response was overwhelming. Almost for two months, the workshops on weekends were held.

Programme Director Supriya Consol and her entire team executed it in a mission mode without hampering their routine official work. The zeal and determination of the team well led by Director Col Rangnekar finally culminated into a show which was, historic and monumental.

The objective was not to create dancers but trigger interest amongst the people in a simple and holistic manner; and the results were spellbinding. Eight classical dance forms Chhau, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Mohiniattam, Satriya, and Bharatanatyam performed on one stage, that too by enthusiastic dance lovers who never danced on stage in these forms in their entire life was thruly enthralling. It not just created awareness about yoga but also a passion for Indian classical dance forms.

The evening started with event Guru Swagata Sen Pillai addressing the evening. She said, "IGNCA invited me to curate this event that combines Yoga and Bharatanatyam but I felt that instead of just presenting Bharatanatyam let's take all of the classical dance forms because it might be much more fulfilling experience. And I am proud to see how successfully it has turned out. Making the new generation aware of spiritual peace was an extremely enriching and wonderful experience for me and others."

Later, to officially inaugurate the event, lighting of the lamp was done by Gurus of various dance forms, followed by the felicitation of the keynote speaker Padmashri Dr Shovana Narayan, Curator of the event Guru Swagata Sen Pillai, Guru Rajkumar Singhajit Singhji, Padmashri Guru Jayarama and Banashri Rao, Padmashri Bharati Shivaji, Guru Madhumita Raut, Guru Malti Shyam, Guru Prateeksha Suresh, Guru Rakesh Sai Babu, Pandit Chetan Joshi, Guru Prashant Pai, and Vidhwan K.Venkateshwaran, by the Member Secretary of IGNCA, Dr Sachchidanad Joshi.

Padmashri Dr Shovana Narayan speaking on the occasion explained the real essence of Yoga and its correlation with Classical Dance. She said, "Yog and Nritya are not different, dance is the highest form of Yog.

When we talk about Yog, first thing that comes into my mind is 'asan'. Classical dance is connected to Yoga because both needs discipline and dedication. People who learn dance also learn Yoga. This combination is very important to bring mental and physical stability."

Shovana concluded her statement by quoting BKS Iyengar - "The body is my temple and asanas are my prayers".

More than hundred dancers on stage and nearly thousand people watching the two hour show was indeed spectacular.

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