Dance fest: Mesmerising concoctions meet mind-blowing concepts
The second evening of the contemporary dance festival featured Sita from Ramayana, refusing to return to safety on Hanuman’s shoulders.
The choreography expands on the single dance phrase of Sita’s reply to the monkey king. The gestures, movements and abstractions further reinforce the determination of the princess in remaining steadfast to her decision.
This was followed by “Avani” inspired by the epic poem of Rabindranath Tagore. This contemporary dance is a response to his call to the earth as prithvi, mother, protector and destroyer. She is both gentle and fierce, like Durga, capable of caring and devouring.
Tagore’s vision of man’s greed and appetite for destruction brought about this poem that was written between the two world wars in the 20th century. Both the dances were composed and played by eminent danseuse and choreographer Anita Ratnam from Chennai.
The second presentation of the evening was by Astad Deboo and group from Mumbai. In his first item Surrender, he depicted the divine light that shines forth on dark night of sorrow; the death alone brings near abode of sweetness; the anguish burns like a flame in the heart of the sacred lamp. The second item was Your Grace weaving a chain of pearls for the neck with tears of sorrow.
In the Walking Tall, Astad has taken the concept of Rabindranath Tagore that man should move alone if nobody listens to his call. The concluding item Awakening is depicted through music that ignites the vision with the language of radiance.
The lines of visible forms are washed away in a flood of nectar. Earlier, in the morning noted dancer-cum-choreograher Uttara Asha Coorlawala delivered a talk on the contemporary dance history and evolution at State Museum before a gathering of scholars, dancers and art critics.
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