Merging dance and all its forms
The Capital witnessed Padma Shri Geeta Chandran’s innovative endeavour where she nurtured and encouraged 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.
Padma Shri Geeta Chandran said: “This 11th edition of Natya Vriksha’s World Dance Day celebrations showed how eclectic curation ensures the success of any festival. The young dancers proved that the future of dance is in safe hands.”
The who’s who of Delhi’s dance and culture circuit converged at IIC to participate. Anita Singh, Uma and Aruna Vasudev, lawyer Shloka Vaidialingam, Deepak Mittal of Sonalika Tractors, poet Ashok Chakradhar, and photographer Avinash Pasricha were present.
They were also joined by a large group of eminent dancers and critics. From the dance community participants included Yamini Krishnamurthi, Raja, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy, Vanashri and Jayarama Rao, Bharati Shivaji, Madhavi Mudgal, Prerana Shrimali and Prathibha Prahalad, amongst several others.
A tribute to abhinaya queen Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan, who passed away recently, was given. This dancing tribute featured Vidushi. Also featured in the tribute session were three dance students of Kalanidhi Narayanan: Guru Jamuna Krishnan, Rasika Khanna and Padma Shri Pratibha Prahlad.
The second day of the ‘Young Dancers Festival’ featured Bharatanatyam by the talented dancer Dr Vasudevan Iyengar, followed by Kathak recital by Sanjukta Sinha from Ahmedabad. Sanjukta’s performance titled- ‘Riwayaat’ which means tradition. Performed within the repertoire and traditional form of Kathak, Sanjukta’s presentation portrayed mystical love, using subtle expressions, flowing movements, intricate footwork and intensely rhythmic patterns. ‘Riwayaat’ is planned as a musical journey in search of love that is mystically divine.
WDD-2016, with manifold events showcased Indian classical dance traditions and urged the uninitiated to discover the hidden language of their souls. This year’s World Dance Day 2016, was hosted in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and the India International Centre, with additional assistance from Oil India, NTPC and Indian Oil.
Natya Vriksha’s ‘Young Dancers Festival’ presented four young volcanoes of talent including Bhavana Reddy, daughter and disciple of the famed first family of Kuchipudi, Raja-Radha-Kaushalya Reddy, who opened the festival with her performance. This was followed by a unique presentation by Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh. Alluringly titled ‘From the Attic’, the dancer presented her recreation and research of the old histories of Bharatanatyam and Devadasi dance through an interactive performance.
Sunday morning featured a workshop titled- ‘Muscle Memory’ -and it involved voice, breath, movement and dance. Renowned dancer Anita Ratnam led segues between learned dance routines and everyday postures.
The workshop participants were asked to “mime” their memories for individual body behaviour, examining the daily performance of Indian rituals that are judiciously followed. The performance looks at the decades of training in classical dance or allied movement disciplines.
What the muscle retains as “remembered vocabulary” is often very different from what the mind has processed through formal dance classes. Geeta Chandran’s World Dance Day events are a “must attend” for all lovers of dance and art.