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Two dance-dramas for a great cause

Posted August 14th, 2018, 10:39 AM IST

Two dance-dramas for a great cause

The dance-drama Nandalala, which for the first time will feature the evergreen compositions of renowned saints and composers, is the brainchild of Bharathanjali-founder Anitha Guha.

“This year, when I was asked to present a multilingual production for AIM for Seva, we could think only of the penultimate avatar of the reclining Lord Mahavishnu who is celebrated universally and adored by poets and devotees across varied languages and cultures”, she shares cheerfully. A few episodes from their previous production Vijayathe gopala choodamani are also being added to pep up the presentation.

It’s all for a noble cause. The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva’s annual fundraiser will be featuring a couple of dance productions this week. One is the ‘Nritya Nataka’ Nandalala by Anitha Guha’s Bharathanjali and the other is Jagat Pavani Ganga - a beautiful compilation of dance-music-theatre by Kala Sadhanalaya, founded by Revathi Ramachandran.

Talking on Jagat Pavani Ganga, Manasviini Ramachandran says, “My mother Revathi Ramachandran’s vision and idea is to showcase all aspects of life that are burgeoning around Ganga. We talk about the beauty of the landscape around Ganga from verses of Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhava and Valmiki’s Ramayana. Interesting is the fact that what they have written centuries ago, be it Devadharu trees (Cedrus Deodara or the Himalayan Deodar), the Saras Crane and the Himalayan Gangetic dolphins are still found in her waters.”

Like the Garhwali people attribute all aspects of their sustenance to Ma Ganga, their song and dance also enhances celebration of their mother. We talk of the abuse of the Ganga because of our ignorance and greed. Yet she waits patiently like a mother. The presentation is to make people aware of the abuse of the resources of the Ganga and pledge to protect her sanctity.

On her many trips to Uttarkashi, Gangothri and Rishikesh, Revathi conceptualised such a production while coming to realise that merely talking about the river wouldn’t catch the real essence. Moving with the Garhwali people, she requested a priest from Gangotri, Sri Rajinikanth Semwal to travel all the way to Chennai for the recording and learnt the traditional Garhwali ‘RASO’ from the women folk in the village, which she has incorporated into the production.

Another high point is the depiction of Ganga Aarati. “One can witness the Ganga Aarati during our presentation as Ganga flows across the stage! We have also included theatre and shadow play by Crea- Shakthi and Mactricks respectively, to embellish the presentation,” adds Manasviini.

Nandalala vows to bring to its audience the splendour of charming ‘Night-hued’ Lord through the fluent compositions of the legends along with those penned by current day ‘Vidwans’ like Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan and PR Venkatasubramanian. This multilingual performance will chronicle Lord Krishna’s life, re-told through dance and music, the stories of, Kaliya Nardhanam, Govindha Patabhishekam (crowning of Govinda), Kamsa Vadha (killing of Kamsa) and Geethopadesham will be performed - in each of these highly trying circumstances he has emerged victorious with an ever-playful smile.

To the choreographer Anitha, music is the first requisite from the legendry traditional compositions in seven languages. Tamil and Telugu translations of the composition rendered by the wonderful musicians and then in the story line folk dance, Krishna’s balaleelas , poothanamoksham, kalinganardhanam, , raaleelas, the mallaryudham [choreographed by Sri Thiruchelwam] and the tharana presented in three styles , Bharatanatyam, Kuchupidi, Kathak and the Geethopadesam — are captive additions.

A committed talented team of students and guest artistes will perform in the dance-drama. Proceeds from both shows will go towards educating children in the Swami Dayananda Rotary Matriculation School in Kadalur Village, Tamil Nadu. Started after the tsunami of 2004, today the school caters to 700 children from across all the tsunami affected villages in Cheyyur Taluk.

Tickets, priced at Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 300 are available on

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