2017年10月13日

Celestial celebration

Dancers often are in a tight spot finding new themes and novel ways to present Natya Nadakams. Shangita Manoharan from Malaysia chose to present three popular divine weddings titled ‘Samyoga - Divine Union.’ Shangita and students of her company, Kalpana Dance Theatre, presented the work in Chennai recently, supported by ICCR.


Three wedding stories — Rama and Sita, Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, Valli and Murugan — were strung together and Shangita, who played the role of a Sutradhar, narrated the stories through dance.


Simple narrative


Beginning with the scene of Rama and Lakshmana accompanying Guru Viswamitra to the ashram, followed by Rama’s first glance of Sita in the garden playing with her friends to the breaking of Siva dhanush and the wedding sequence, the dance followed a simple narrative. The interest in the storyline slackened due to the lack of imaginative formations in the choreography. The sequences depicting Rama holding the Siva dhanush and a few theermanams at the swayamvaram looked out of place.


The presentation gained momentum with Meenakshi Kalyanam. The birth of Meenakshi, her training in various arts, her meeting with Siva, the blossoming of love and the thillana incorporated into the wedding scene unfolded one after the other in an aesthetic manner. Moving away from the classical mode, Valli Thirumanam with an interesting storyline, and music and dance movements based on folk style, was appealing.


The grand finale to celebrate the celestial weddings had a raas touch to it. At periodic intervals the lead pair of each story emerged from the group to bring about a visual link to the divine weddings. A little more attention to costume and styling would help in enhancing the production’s visual appeal.


The team with Shangita Manoharan (direction), P.T. Narendran (choreography), Va. Ve. Su (lyrics) and Hariprasad (music) needs to be lauded for its efforts.



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