Disclaimer: This is NOT a review of a performance. No!Nope! Not at all. I am not an artist to comment about the art of dancing. Especially classical dance. And also if any of you artists get offended with anything I write here, I am really really sorry. I did not mean it. I am just like this crazy fan girl who can’t shut up once she sees her favourite actor. So please don’t mind me.
As much as I loved dance and dance shows I was not a big fan of Classical dance. Actually Bharatanatyam is the only classical dance show I have seen all my life. The reason being its always the same. Most of the time its a bunch of ladies swooning over Krishna. Or there will be the overly gymnastic lady doing the snake dance. Or it will be a dance with tha thai thithithai where they are talking about a specific god or a myth. I am not mocking the art. I am just listing out the number of shows I saw during my school days. A lot of such shows happen at my school Auditorium. So I get a chance every now and then.
So when I decided to go to this particular performance all that I had in mind is that my friend is performing. She is a recent friend I met through the blogging network and enjoyed her presence. Especially her passion for dance. As soon as the Margazhi Season started I was pestering Amrutha when can I see her performing on stage.
I go to this semi open auditorium, it sure was getting pretty cold. Once the narrator started talking about the concept I was wondering if there were gonna be that many dancers. And I saw a set of musicians sitting on the stage. Now that was odd. Usually musicians sit in a corner. Not at the back of the stage.
This is about The Ashta Nayikas – the eight types of heroines described as per the Bharata Sastra. See why I thought if a lot of dancers are going to be involved? Since each heroine will have a distinct characterisation I thought it will be hard for the same dancer to pull it off. And all those musicians to sync with the dancers?
Man was I proved wrong like anything that night. The power of art hit me like the cold wind hit us that night.
The man behind this whole program is a Flautist, Athul Kumar. The minute he kept that instrument between his lips and started playing, I felt my soul. I really did. I don’t think even sex could give me that many heebie-jeebies. I am not even exaggerating now. I do not know music. I do not sing or dance. But I can understand good music when I listen to it. There was a man playing the flute and that was when I understood why Krishna chose the same instrument to play in the Brindavan. Not many know this but Krishna can play a lot of instruments.
It sure is mesmerising in a beautiful way. And just when I was about to close my eyes in ecstasy the dancers came out and it was a battle between my senses. On one side I wanted to concentrate on the music. and then there were these pretty ladies dancing in beautiful teal+sandal dresses. How can I even think about closing my eyes? No way!
That is exactly when the main dancer comes out. This lady was able to choreograph the whole thing and there were no lyrics anywhere. Usually in Classical Dance a lot of moves will be based on the lyrics. But this time they were all dancing for live instrumental music.
- Vaasaka sajja – the one waiting for her beloved.
- Swadheena pathika – the one who holds unconditional power in her love
- Proshitha pathika – the dejected maiden unable to wait for her Lord anymore who is on a long journey.
- Abhisaaraka – a ravishing dancer, who elope into the forest to her Lord.
- Vibralabhda – a disappointed lover who is in deep agony.
- Kanditha naayika – an enquiring and possessive lover because her Lord cheats on her. Restless, aggravated
- Virahot kanditha naayika – due to her separation she is sad and awaits her Lord
- Kalahanthaaritha naayika – gets separated due to silly quarrels. A maiden pained by it and remorsed by her hastiness
I managed to get some notes while still watching the dance. You wanna learn more? Well we all just have to wait for another performance by them.