A very interesting festival celebrating Dance Day unfolded on May1’2022, at the Mysore Assosciation auditorium, Mumbai. The festival curated by renowned Bharata Natyam exponent,Teacher, choreographer Writer ,Curator Kalashri Lata Surendra defined a unique theme – SHABDH – An Ode Unto the WORD.
The festival had legends, seasoned artists and the promising dancers bringing to life the theme through their colouring styles. Padmashri Darshana Jhaveri reached out with ‘Madhava’ the one word and the one name that stirred Radha’s heart but this time it was uttered in exasperation as a ‘Khandita Nayik in a a very subdued and suggestive manner in keeping with the Radhabhav in the Manipuri dance form.Padmashri. I leana Citaristi highlighted the one name ‘jagannath’ through the poem written during the time of Covid, with script by Ardhiya Sethi. Her reaching out was impacting with its evocative refrain ‘ Jagannath speaks to me’. Renowned Mohini attam Exponent & SNA awardee Mandakini Trivedi reached out with the One word that changed Kunti ‘s life – the mantra invoking Surya – Sun God. The gripping scene between Kunti and Karna was presented with calculated awareness and with the fluid ease coming with the mastery of the style -The scene and its aftermath left all with a feeling that at times a discreet silence was truly better than words! This was followed by a gripping interpretation of the ‘Two Vows – an episode from Ramcharitmanas by Saint Tulsidas by the dynamic and charismatic artist Vidushi Shila Mehta. Three generations came together to define Shabdh as the Lord’s name Hari! Dr Jayshree Rajagopalan the well-known Exponent, mentor, researcher and prime disciple of the legend Padma Bhushan Padma Subramanium with her daughter – the talented and seasoned Exponent Aishwarya Venkatesh and Grand-daughter Varshini. Then came renowned dancer Arundhati Patwardhan daughter and disciple of Legendary Guru Dr Suchita Bhide Chaphekar who reached out with a dance- theatre presentation etching Saint Tukaram’s refrain of the one WORD – Vithoba Curator Kalashri Lata Surendra reached out with the one name that aligned all oddities through the interesting creation of Ganesha – the son who remained the weakness and strength of Mother Parvati, whose love for him defined the merciful and the merciless, as she finds his head severed by Lord Shiva.
There were several scintillating performances by Seasoned Artists and Mentors – Kathak Exponent, imaginative choreographer and mentor Manisha Jeet & Disciples with an interesting exploring of the potency of the Word, Graceful Odissi exponent Prachi Mehta defining Mother through the characters of Devaki and Yashoda.
Partners in life and on stage renowned Bharata Natyam teachers and exponents Anand and Jayalakshmi through the deliberate teasing of Krishna by Sathyabhama highlighted the misleading potency of a word that could ever so easily be misinterpreted by its varying connotations.
Dancers Ammith kumar, Tarini Tripathi reached out with ‘Out of hand’ that was choreographed and was performed for the prakriti excellence in contemporary dance awards 2022. It mirrored how in a democratic setup like our nation we are made to think what someone else makes us think! Imaginative Kathak exponent Dr Sunil Sunkara and Visual story teller Debbrata Pal through Panchtattva highlighted the word with the synervy of dance & paibtibg. as to what name could be given unto the divine who is the cause of all causes and effect of all effects. The arts are not mutually exclusive of each other and they have to be assimilated as a synthesis of music , sculptor and literature. The city’s renowned mentors such as Shri Chetan Saraya , Kalangan Smt Moli Sidharth and group , Smt Rashmi Mishra ,Smt Nisha Gilbert, Disciples of Mentor Padmini Radhakrishnan , Kathak Exponent and teacher Dr Anu Harshal Kuchipudi exponent Pooja Lakshmi – disciple of the renowned Mentor Dr Sailaja Desai , Ex Ms Universe & Kathak Exponent Smt Neha Bannerjee, Kuchipudi Guru and exponent Kalamandalam Vijayshree Pillai, charismatic and dynamic Kathak exponent Shri Aditya Garud , Smt Charushila Golam the co-founder of Lavani mahasangh &team and Bharata Natyam Exponent Ritu Maneck and her cherubic disciples and Bharata Natyam Exponent and Curator Shamal Pawar &,disciples all contributed to have SHABDH potently define the dance day through an Ode that made of words a bridge and dance as – the bridging .metsphor linking worlds. The programme commenced with the defining of Diksha by three promising dancers Megha.M .Pillai (Disciple of Kalashri Dr Lata Surendra )
Dipali Tikam (Disciple of Guru Jhelum Paranjape) Shalmali Zankar (Disciple of Guru Manisha Jeet. This was an incentive by curator Kalashri Lata Surendra to promote the solo performances in a scenario that highlighted group choreographies and downloaded audios
“Words are the most powerful thing in the universe… Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear Life accords unto us diverse experiences but we have lost touch with the meanings accorded as we suffocate the present between the past and future. Summing it up in the words of Lord Byron –Words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces. That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think” , Said Curator Kalashri Lata Surendra.
SHABDH – Ode unto the WORD Curated by Kalashri Dr Lata Surendra Celebrating Dance through coloring dance forms on May at Mysore Association Auditorium