WHY DO WE DANCE?
There are several questions running through a dancer's mind over several years and getting answers to why they are doing what they are doing fulfills their journey as a dancer. Indian classical dance demands several years of practice and normally students are introduced to the art form at a very young age- the age where the students do not even know the meaning of dance. But only those who understands and realizes the impact the dance has on themselves and the world around can continue their journey of dancing and can enjoy each and every moment of it. The answer to all the questions- Why do we dance? What can dance do to us and the society around us? is shown beautifully through the production "Vivartana" by the famous Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan and her troupe.
This 90-minute production was presented by Rama Vaidyanathan, Dakshina Vaidyanathan Baghel, Rohini Dhananjaya, Lakshmi Chakyar, Meera Unnithan, Kavya Ganesh, Sannidhi Vaidyanathan as a part of 2-day dance festival of Diya Performing Arts on 20th of October 2018 at A.D.A Rangamandira, Bangalore. It was witnessed by a full house audience who realized the impact dance made on them and expressed it through constant applause throughout the production and standing ovation at the end of the show. Highly skilled dancers, rich music, simple yet elegant aaharya, perfect lighting, literature in wide-ranging languages (Tamil, Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Persian, Braj, Gujarati) are the key highlights of the production.
The production opened with Sannidhi Vaidyanathan on mridangam with the dancers responding to the rhythm and becoming one with the rhythm. The entry of Rama Vaidyanathan was received with huge applause from the audience reminding the gathering of the entry of a popular hero in a movie. A versatile person -Rama Vaidyanathan not only choreographed this production and performed but also penned down a poem for the first piece of production "Pratikriya- Dance Responds - Nrithyam vivartayati naadihi spandayati"(translated into Sanskrit by Divyanand Jha and music composition by Ramya Kapadia).
A musical treat by Dr. S Vasudevan based on Tamil versus from Tirumandiram by Tirumalar is the second piece of the production "Samayoga- Dance merges". The dancer Rama Vaidyanathan passed the powerful energy of Shiva's dancing to the audience creating a vibrant environment and fulfillment to each and every one present over there. Then there is a beautiful shift from Carnatic music to Persian with a touch of Sufi whirling. The magic of how dance is used as a medium to elevate the human souls to a higher realm is showcased through the third piece of production "Nimagna- Dance Immerses" which is an amalgamation of Persian, Braj, Kashmiri and Sanskrit poems. An unique vision of the rasaleela- the dance of love between Krishna and the gopikas is showcased in the fourth piece "Pratibodhana-Dance Awakens" through a Gujarati poem by Narsi Mehta. The production concluded with "Rasabhava- Dance evokes" wherein the dancers communicated their ideas, thoughts, and emotions to the audience through their hand gestures- "Yatho Hasta thatho Drishti, Yatho Drishti thatho Manah, Yatho Manah thatho Bhaava, Yatho Bhaava thatho Rasa." (Nandikeswara-Abhinayadarpanam)
The production summarized on how dance not only transform us physically, emotionally, spiritually and culturally but also has the capacity to touch the world and eventually to change or transform it. It altered the visual physical space around the dancer and awarded a beautiful experience to me.
In choreographers words... "Dance transforms my pulse to pace with rhythm and I become one with rhythm Dance transforms the space around me and I become one with space Dance transforms my body from stillness to motion and I become one with movement
Dance transforms my soul from singular to plural and I become one with the world"
Source: Internet, Program Notes, Experience from the production; Photo Courtesy: Shandilya Srivatsa. Dance transforms my soul from singular to plural and I become one with the world"