Keeping in step
Bangalore witnessed a two-day lecdem on various forms of dance
COMPARING NOTES The focus was on the lasya aspect in dance
ADA Rangamandira was abuzz with enthusiasts for the two-day lecture demonstration on dance. Organised by Monisha Arts, founded by noted Mohiniattam dancer Sreedevi Unni, the second day focussed on the technical aspects and navarasas in varied dance styles.
“The bhavas are the same but you will notice that the style varies,” explains Sreedevi.
First it is Radhika Varma who demonstrates the nine bhavas (navarasas) in Kathakali, followed by Revathi Narasimhan in Bharatanatya and Sreedevi Unni in Mohiniattam.
While Radhika was elaborate in her demonstration and explanation, Revathi’s presentation was short and snappy.
She gave a brief explanation about the nine situations, and the way she used her eyes and her facial muscles left you speechless. Sreedevi Unni, who came in next kept her demonstrations short, but by now, monotony has set into the audience and you just wish that there are some elements of nritta in between.
The event also featured varied performances and demonstrations of classical dance styles like Odissi, Mohiniattam, Bharatanatya and Kathakali. “The idea was to reach out to people by bringing as many dance forms on a platform so that people know about the varied technical aspects of the dance styles. In Bharatanatya, the form is strict and subtle, where as in Kathakali, the expressions are dramatic, and Mohiniattam is a balance of these two styles of abhinaya,” says Sreedevi, the seasoned dancer and teacher.
Comparing forms and styles
While the mornings focussed more on the technical aspect of dance, the evenings included a range of performances – Cholkettu by the students of Monisha Arts, Mohiniattam by Methil Devika and Jayaprabha Menon, to name a few. “The focus of the event was to bring out the lasya aspect in dance and bring in a comparison of this factor with other styles too,” says Sreedevi. This section included a paper presentation on lasya by Jaya Prabha Menon from Delhi, followed by Sharmila Mukherjee’s Odissi recital of a pallavi, and a short presentation of the lasya aspect in Kathakali by Probal Gupta.
“You see a woman itself means lasya. Just like the paddy moves gently every time the wind blows, so should a woman move. There should also be some tandava in a woman — along with grace, she should be brave too,” adds Sreedevi.
She says that she tried to present this event as a book to dance patrons and the people of the city. “Everyone enjoys music and dance. But if we as artistes equip them with the technological aspects they will be able to enjoy it further more,” says this dancer enthusiastically.
She promises to be back again next year with a more detailed lecture demonstration. Those who want to learn Mohiniattam can contact Sreedevi on 9845054242.
SHILPA SEBASTIAN R
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