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Thematic solo dance on pilgrimage

Staff Reporter

Millions of pilgrims who flock to Tirumala are the inspiration



TRACING THE SOUL'S JOURNEY: Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Smitha Madhav. — PHOTO: SATISH.H.

HYDERABAD: "We normally glorify god but there is so much significance attached to the pilgrimage itself," says noted Bharatanatyam danseuse Smitha Madhav.

This concept became the theme for her unique solo dance focusing on the pilgrimage to the Seven Hills, `Shri Venkata Gireesham Bhaje' to be presented by her at Ravindra Bharathi here on Friday.

Known for her `Sita' role in Bala Ramayanam, Smitha said millions of pilgrims who flock to Tirumala every year were her inspiration for the ballet, she said on the eve of her performance here on Thursday.

"There are many metaphors one can see in the pilgrimage to Seven Hills and one way of looking at is the soul's journey towards Paramatman," Smitha, disciple of Rajeswari Sainath adds.

Interesting facets

The ballet would cover several interesting and little known facets in the 11 km trek from Alipiri to Ananda Nilayam and drawing extensively from `Daya Satakam', Sankeertanas of Annamacharya and other saints and `Dasavatara Stotram.'. "Though the idea was mine, the ballet took shape thanks to valuable inputs given by Kanisetty Srinivasulu, trustee of Annamayya Mission and Damal S.Ramakrishnan, well known for his discourses," she said.

The two-hour ballet culled from several works took about two years to take its final shape, she added.

Smitha leaving for the US at the invitation of the Overseas Telugu Association for a two-month concert tour on Saturday, said her first concert would be in Atlanta.

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