Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aradhana

I've started writing for Asia Dance Channel one of the first Online dance magazines that focuses solely on dance. We review performances across the country for the magazine. My first assignment was a indian dance performance in Klang.

On another note I'm dancing in the Short+Sweet Dance Festival in KLPAC from 29th - 1st August 2009 at KLPAC. I'm attempting a dance chereography that I've always wanted to explore - dancing Bharatanatyam to a western tune. You can find out more here.

Also V-Eyez has a new look ;)

Here's the first article and a link to the page on Asia Dance Channel. Will post the other article tomorrow with pictures.

Aradhana: A Dance Offering
4 July 2009
Wisma Lourdes, Klang

Review and Photography by Visithra Manikam

Romance

Aradhana, which means “offering,” was presented by the Shiva Sree Tachanamoorthy Shiva Thiyana Gurukulam at Wisma Lourdes in Klang, in aid of five-year-old John Paul Bartholomew who was diagnosed as suffering from a variant of Dandy Walker Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. The organizers announced that they had achieved their target of RM 10,000 that will be channeled to help the young boy.










The evening saw the presentation of two distinct styles of Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam and Odissi. Originating from Tamilnadu, India, Bharatanatyam is made off crisp lines and geometrical shapes where the dancer emotes to rhythm and music. Odissi which originates from Orissa instead focuses on laasyam or the more feminine side of dance. Odissi’s emphasis on curves is reflected throughout each performance.

Three students from Shamala Bharatakalalayam performed first. The teacher Mrs Shamala Kandiah is a disciple of Padma Shri Adyar K. Lakshman.

The first piece entitled Nadesa Gauthuvam in praise of Lord Shiva was performed by a young girl, only eight years old. While she lacked experience and technical prowess at this early stage, the she charmed the audience with her smile and charm.

This was followed by the popular Boh Shambo choreographed by Vignavinashini Mahaeswarren. The brilliant choreography in praise of Lord Shiva was marred by the young dancer’s inexperience and lackluster attitude. While we could forgive her for stopping once during her short performance, it’s a bit hard to ignore three. But more important than the need to improve the quality of her performance, is the for her to improve her performance attitude. Vignavinashini showed promise with her clean lines but needs to work on her rhythm and expression as well.

I was quite impressed with the next dancer Sharmila, with her presentation of the Ootukadu piece Asainthadum Mayil. The song which describes the peacock prince Lord Muruga again showcased engaging choreography which was well executed by Sharmila. Her agility, rhythmic finishing, expressions and her focus on the little details kept the audience enthralled in this fast-paced piece.


The Madhura Academy School of Dance and Music started the next half of the performance with the first Odissi piece Mangalacharanam by guest artiste Parveen Nair and sisters Vathana and Vanitha Chandrashekaran. Paying homage to Lord Jagannath, the elements and the gurus, the Managalacharanam marks the beginning of a traditional Odissi repertoire. The three dancers complemented each other well and seemed at ease as a trio.

Namaskar Intertwined

I spotted an uprising star in the next performance called Sthayi or a pure dance item where the steps and hand gestures are set to rhythmic phrases. Trishna Sacharaseelan outshone her fellow dancers with her grace and expression. Dancing with seven girls of different ages and experience, she shined and kept drawing my attention back to her even with the young dancers around. The dance began with the interchanging of the young dancers with the senior dancers. Though inexperienced and new, the little ones danced in rhythm to the songs and maintained their lines throughout their performance bewitching the audience with their cuteness.

A dancer Odissi

After a short break the performance continued with the Pallavi which is the most elaborate and longest piece in the Odissi repertoire. Having watched Vathana perform during her years at the Temple of Fine Arts, I was impressed with her extra confidence and renewed energy. She seemed more relaxed and enchanting than ever before. Parveen excelled in his delivery, it was a joy to watch him perform and despite the length of the dance he made it seem effortless. Again the dancers were in chemistry with each other. The duo left the audience wanting more.

The audience was then treated to the Abhinaya or expressive dance section which began with Moha Mohi Krishna. Describing the gopika’s (young maidens) love for Lord Krishna, the dancers expressed their love, affection and even obsession of Krishna. Each dancer excelled in their adoration for Krishna. Again my eyes were drawn to Trishna. Even when she was not the centre of attention and sitting by the side, she would still be emoting to the words of the Orissa poem. I hope to see more of this young dancer in the future.

Hari Riha another expressive number began with a little Krishna leading a party of gopikas in a circle of laughter and fun. As they left the stage after their merry-go-round escapade, Vathana and Parveen entered as the divine lovers Radha and Krishna. Their on-stage romance sent the audiences’ hearts fluttering in joy as they glided across the stage in character.

The finale piece proved to be the best piece of the night, the Moksha called Mahakali Dhyana. The dancers blazed the stage in black, red and yellow in fast-moving steps depicting the goddess Kali. The energetic dance drew the applause of the audience ending the evening on a high note.

The nights’ performance definitely entertained the audience. The lighting was inconsistent throughout the evening and the event could do with a better with more attention paid to this element. The recorded music from both styles was pleasing to the ears. I do hope that Mathurya Academy will embark into their own choreographing in their future presentations as the evening’s performance was credited to Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, Dr Chandrabanu and Geetha Shankaran Lam of the Temple of Fine Arts.

Nevertheless it was truly an evening celebrating dance.

4 comments:

sabrina said...

Crap!!!! In my own church and i never even knew about it!!!! Woe....

visithra said...

saby - i think it was less publicised didnt hear it till about 2 3 days before the show

Koomhanan said...

they are young dancers.... they did make everyone entertained and proud that evening... the courage and love the child had and despite the obstacles sure made the great lord shiva praised.... God bless the dancers....and in my opinion, the imperfections in young performers should never be criticized like this, shows the poor responsibility as an inexperienced writer...

Visithra said...

koomhanan - the imperfections would have gone unnoticed if this was a temple performance or a simple show that was NOT ticketed. People do not pay money to see imperfections unless it was 3 year olds on stage. its easy to criticise the writer for reporting it as it is