KALASHRI DR LATA SURENDRA (CURATOR- ARDHANG )
‘Art from the heart with Diksha ‘then to now ‘ by eminent practitioners of the art transformed the conference room of Mysore Association, Mumbai to a pulsating cosmos .
The speakers were Dr Uma Rele (Principal Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, Juhu, Mumbai . Padmashri Sunayana Hazarilal ( Kathak), Kalaratna Guru Smt A.B. Balakondala Rao-Balakka ( Kuchipudi) Dr Jayashree Rajagopalan( Bharata Natyam), Smt Rajashree Shirke ( Kathak) , Guru Lata Raman( BharataNatyam), Dr Aruna Bhikshu( Kuchipudi) Prateesha Suresh ( Sattriya) Jigar Soni( Folk-Garbha).
Eminent Speakers at conference
The timeless journey when Diksha was an absolute communion unto their eminent Gurus was so intensely absorbing for some that time stood still for them . In fact their journey down memory lane awakened all young teachers and disciples to the defining threads that was embraced in the meaningful bond between Guru and Shishya .One should have more Art to heart chats in the city to raise common platforms where artistic ‘gupshups’ could happen to resolve many a storm in artistic tea-cups !
The evening performances highlighted ARDHANG – ‘ in every half is the other’, that Curator Kalashri Dr Lata Surendra urged artists to explore .
Guru Smt Jhelum Paranjape
The prelude was set with the sound and silence defined through an intricate Alarippu in Sankeernajathi Triputa Thalam ( 13 ahsharams) by Lata’s dedicated Senior disciple Kum Ananya Mohan Iyer . The live orchestra with Lata herself deftly wielding the Nattuvangam , melodious Keerthana Krishnan Vocal Shri Chandran – Mridangam and Violin by Shri Balasubramaniam highlighted the Guru-shishya connect beautifully!The crossrhythms , the potent silence and sound interludes and the dialogue between thalam,percussion and Visual kinesthetics of BharataNatyam caught everyone ‘s attention . The interesting aspect was the weaving of Surdas ‘s composition into the traditional Dhanyasi Varnam by Papanasam Shivam that followed , to have the cosmopolitan crowd connect to the colour that is a Varnam, highlighting the universality of emotions in man be it any terrain.
In keeping with the theme of ARDHANG , was the exploring by one who is known for her imaginative draping of themes through Odissi – Guru Jhelum Paranjape who highlighted that lyrics and words, ,,the instrument and chords , the dance and the dancer the Lord and the devotee are never mutually exclusive of each other . ARDHANGA it was at its best!
Aditya Anukula & Kum Varsha Pachhava
(Disciples of Kala Ratna Guru A.B . Balakondala Rao)
With the child comes to life the Mother!. A bond that ,was evocatively explored by Mother and daughter – Dr Uma Rele & Dr Vaidehi Rele .With sensitivity they highlighted the choreography by the legendary Padmabhushan Dr Kanak Rele .Mitali Varadkar & Shreya Sabharwal the committed sishyas of Guru Shubhada Varadkar brought out the connect of Jeeva with Atma through Adi Shankaracharya’s Nirvanashatakam . One witnessed a lot of Kuchipudi this time with legends who had not been seen much in the Mumbai art scene! Aditya Anukula the accomplished Kuchipudi Exponent & Nattuvanar , Son of Kalaratna Guru Smt A.B. Balakondala Rao ( Balakka) and her very dedicated Senior Disciple Kum Varsha Pachhava draped the complimenting halves etching nonduality through a breath- taking choreography that coloured the pulsating oneness of Shiva and Parvati , through the composition by Pulyur/,Pallavi Doraiswami Iyer , Adenamma in Paras. It was Kuchipudi with the signature style of Balakka enhancing ARDHANG to glorious heights.
Guru Dr Uma Rele & Guru Vaidehi Rele – Lal
Bhang – Abhang the enlightening of Cupid by the Enlightened one – Budha was an interesting exploration through the folds of Kathak by Guru Smt Ranjana Phadke with her disciples. Normally one associates Manmatha with Shiva whose wrath reduced cupid to ashes but when the same arrows were directed on Budha ..Cupid got enlightenment ! Parvathy Menon the seasoned Kuchipudi Exponent and disciple of Guru Smt Bala Kondala Rao and Kalamandalam Guru Smt Mohana Thulasi brought out the dualistic aspect of Mother Nature as the Merciless and all- merciful .Rohini and Ashwini Vij paid a tribute unto their Guru Manisha Jeet with the balancing equanimity gathered through the introspective mind aligning conflicting thought processes Accomplished Mohiniattam Exponent Sujatha Nair- daughter and disciple of Guru Jayashree Nair brought to life the romance between the Wave and the shore through Khalil Gibran’s poem – Song of the wave.
A gracefully executed defining by Kathak Exponent & Teacher Smriti Raj communicated a strong message throughChapthilak by Amīr Khusrau- the Indian Sufi singer, ” i am in YOU and you in me..Tomorrow let it not be said that,YOU are someone and i am Someone else’ Committed Kathak Exponent, choreographer and Mentor Chetan Saraiya explorred Sambhog Sringara love in union through Radha and Krishna and Viyog Sringar through Meera . Drought and Rain a thought provoking choreography, etching Rain as nurturing hope and drought as the negation of it was presented by disciples of Imaginative Guru Geetha Venkateshwar.
The other side to everything in this world through the Character of Sage Dronacharya was what the Kathak Exponent & Mentor Anu Harshal with Disciples presented through various episodes in theSage’s life .Aham Nrityam … I am the dance gathered the poetic synergy of two styles by two very accomplished practitioners , Bharatanatyam by Sujatha Swaminathan and Kathak by Pallavi Raisurana.
Guru Dr Aruna Bhikshu & Kum Mahati Bhikshu
Tandava and Lasya signifying the duality of energies. was explored through an absorbing presentation of Taal Dhamaar – A 14 beats Rhythmic cycle by the very innovative Kathak Exponent,Teacher Isha Kathavate and equally complimenting disciples . It was amazing how the theme opened outto such diversely enlightening pathways .‘Manas Samvaada, a conversation between Manas and the emotions explored the intertwined relationship between Hope and Fear . Draped in Kuchipudi it was an absorbing Choreography by Noted exponent Mentor Choreographer,Filmmaker & researcher Dr Aruna Bhikshu & her daughter Mahata Bhikshu Ameya .K. Nambiar disciple of renowned Guru Kalamandalam Mohanathulasi. depicted Prakruti and Purusha through the Ardhanareeswara Stotra composed by His holiness Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
One also gives credit to Saritha Nidheesh for the chaste Angashudham the beautiful young dancer from Kochi-Kerala displayed in her execution.The very imaginative Kathak Exponent Teacher and Choreographer Guru Manisha Jeet defined Ardhang through the antonyms – Stillness and movement !Space and time gives birth to stillness and movement that causes Lethargy and Energy.
Very skillfully she related it to the Vilambit and Drut laya.highlighted the nondual essence ensuing in their togetherness. One among the City’s own Kuchipudi Guru Kalamandalam Vijayshree Pillai reached out with an interesting choreography invoking Goddess Saraswati as the epitome of wisdom nullifying ignorance Her dedicated disciples complimented the theme in all oneness.
Guru Ranjana Phadke & Disciples
Harihara – the different aspects of the same Ultimate Reality Brahman was very evocatively explored by the talented disciples of Guru Padmini Radhakrishnan. Dusk and Dawn endorsing diverse canvases mirroring new beginnings and the conclusive end that rounds all life was highlighted by BharataNatyam exponent. Dr Chandrika Sundaresan . Kathak exponent and teacher Aditi Yadav with her disciples highlighted Diksha as the complete bonding carrying transitions in the journey from mime to a spontaneous dilineation . Visual Story teller Debabrata Pal depicted the Amrut -manthan & kurma vatar , painted by his feet with the symbolic churning depicted through dance.
Kalashree Dr Lata Surendra’s disciples explored light and shade through – dancing shadows a visually arresting choreography with skilllful usage of a veil and stage-craft by Shri Suresh Pednekar. The Lavani by researcher Charushila Golam and the infectious folk by Shri Mukesh Darbar from Nepanagar embraced oneness through rhythms. ARDHANG – in every half is the other and its visual exploring moved every heart leaving the auditorium , endorsing the timeless connect between Arts and the Rasikas – a bond highlighting that each necessarily needed the other to lift life from the level of the mundane to the sublime !
Disciple Parvati Menon with Guru Kalamandalam Mohanathulasi & Guru Bala Kondala Rao
As curator Kalashri Dr Lata Surendra put it ‘There is so much seeking to be explored , re-discovered within us andwaitiing to be shraed A conference and converging through performances like this provides all artistes a space to reach out with their viewpoint and for the students and rasikas, it accords an idea of what actually goes into the creative process . It is important to converge as a fraternity, to ensure the perpetuation of the Art in this world of breaking news . The sustaining of the Artist and the Art through the spoken and delineated WORD should awaken all to Dance , as a bridging metaphor linking worlds ‘ SPONSOR: MAHINDRA FiNANCE Lights – Shri Pednekar Sound – Shri Nandlal Rele Pic Credits- Shri Girish Nambiar Poster Credits: Shri Madhusudan Menon.
Celebrating World Dance Day Curated By KALASHRI Dr Lata Surendra With Conference And Performances Defining ARDHANG