11th October, Saturday - Bharatanatyam -Kalakshetra, Chennai

The performance this evening begins with Yati - a keertanam in Raga Talamaalika which sings of Lord Shiva’s Ananda Tandava. The term Yati is used to describe the shape of a rhythmic pattern in a musical composition. The choreography uses five of the six yatis - Sama, Mridanga, Damaru, Gopuchcha and Srotovaha – to portray Shiva’s dance in ecstasy. Next is Kalinga Nartanam in Raga Arabhi, Aadi Talam. This is an extract from the production Daasaru Kanda Krishna that speaks of the many leelas of Krishna, one of which is His subjugation of the poisonous cobra-king Kalinga or Kaliya and the celebrations that follow. This is followed by the Mask Dance, which is extracted from the production Masquerade, Man in the Iron Mask - a dance-theatre narrative. This dance-theatre work is an adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. The mask dance marks an important twist in the tale when the three musketeers try to kidnap King Louis IV and replace him with his twin brother Philippe. The grand finale is a medley of three Tillanas composed by Shri Lalgudi.G.Jayaraman in Ragas Revati, Kalyana Vasantam and Madhuvanti.

Sheejith Krishna has choreographed Yati and Mask Dance while Leela Samson has choreographed the Kalinga Nartanam and the Tillanas.

12th October, Sunday - Mohiniattam- Jayaprabha Menon, Delhi

Mohiniattam one of the most lyrical classical dance forms of India originated in Kerala. The word ‘mohini’ stands for enchantress, a beautiful woman who seduces for a purpose, so it is actually the dance of the enchantress. It is deeply rooted in feminity, grace (lasya) and beauty (sringara). Mohiniattam can be singled out with admirable distinction, for its characteristic body movements, marked by the graceful sway of the torso. This enchanting dance of the enchantress is being presented by Jayaprabha Menon who is one of the most accomplished dancers of the new generation. Initiated into classical dance by Smt Kalamandalam Saraswathi, she is the disciple of Padmashree Guru Bharathi Shivaji and has also undergone bharatanatyam training under Smt and Shri C.V Chandrasekhar.
Her pleasing stage presence and graceful exposition has brought new aesthetics to mohiniattam. Jayaprabha’s widely acclaimed choreographies like Ritusamharam, Yashodhara and Kurukshetra blends refreshing originality with traditional discipline.
Jayaprabha Menon and Kalamandalam Manoj would be presenting Layalahiri a production based on Geet Govindam. Layalahiri is a combination of Kathakali and Mohiniattam, the two major forms of Kerala. The choreography intends to explore the points of convergence and divergence in the two forms, Kathakali being a representation of tandava and Mohiniattam an expression of lasya.

13th October, Monday - Odissi -Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, Bhubaneshwar

In Orissa, in north eastern India, in the temple of Lord Jagannath ‘Lord of the Universe’ religious rituals, music and dance were combined together to create the highly sculpturesque and devotional classical dance style, Odissi. Odissi dance by combining the basic postures tribhangi the three fold bending form (neck, torso and knees) representing Lord Krishna and chowka a square and centered stance depicting Lord Jagannath, with intricate torso movements, hand gestures, facial expressions and elaborate footwork continues to inspire and awaken beauty and grace in the hearts of artists and spectators alike. Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, for whom Odissi is not just a vocation but a mission to popularise his Guru, Guru Deba Prasad Das’s style, is known for his choreographic sense and ability to visualise the most powerful group arrangements. The presentation will invoke the first Cosmic dancer – Lord Shiva, Nataraj or the King of Dancers. After the siba magalacharan, a pure dance form sthayee evolved from the sculptures of the temples, will be performed. The beguilement will continue eclipsing all other fare with the sheer awe inspiring geometry of group arrangements in the invocation to the Sun God, the source of all energy and auspiciousness.

14th October, Tuesday - Kuchipudi –Jai Kishore Mosalikanti and Group, Chennai

Kuchipudi one of India’s eight main classical dances styled combines fast rhythms with fluid movements, creating a nice blend of control and abandon, strength and delicacy. The little village of Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh is the birth place of this quick silver and scintillating dance form. Performed to classical carnatic music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam. Born into an artist family with Chennai violinist M.S Rao for father, Sri Jaikishore Mosalikanti began his career in Kuchipudi under the guidance of Padmabhushan Guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. With rigorous training Jaikishore developed a deep understanding of the nuances of the art, which he sees as an unbroken thread of cultural memories of myth, religion, music and rhythm. Jaikishore’s thoughtfulness and depth also marks his highly acclaimed choreography. His compositions honour the precedents set by his Guru while developing a unique personal style with his innovative use of rhythms and rhythmic variations. The presentation begins with a traditional prayer song to the goddess Balatripurasundari of Kuchipudi village. Followed by a composition by Mauthuswamy Dikshitar in praise of Saraswati , the goddess who is the personification of wisdom and knowledge,who removes darkness of ignorance. This will be followed by Tarangam unique piece in Kuchipudi repertoire wherein the dancer must dance upon a brass plate. The finale of the show would be through thillana the rhythmic movements, footwork and patterns set to the musical genius of Dr. M Balakrishna Murli.

15th October, Wednesday - Kathak –Malti Shyam and Group, Delhi

The classical dance form of Kathak traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks or story tellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music alongwith stylized gestures to enliven the stories. It was the urge to acquire mastery over rhythm and stylized mime that led Malti Shyam to devote herself to the technique of Kathak under the rigorous tutelage of Shrimati Reba Vidyarthi. She honed her understanding of tradition under the guidance of the great master Pandit Birju Maharaj, whom she credits with her growth and formation as a dancer. She belongs to the Lucknow Gharana which defines a style with lyrical grace and technical precision. The first in the presentation is the contemplative depth of Dhrupad , followed by the imaginative Khayal. Thereafter the mellifluous and sensuous Thumri sung in a playful tempo strung together with the tunes of Dadra, Tarana and Sargam which coalesce with Kathak and are capable of evoking Rasas.


Ananya - Purana Qila, New Delhi -  October 11  -  October 15, 2008

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