A perfect fusion
by Monika Trivedi, Pune
fascination of the East by those in the West and vice versa has been an
integral part of societal development for centuries. In some cases there
have been jarring inconsistencies and in others a perfect blend. The latter
was the case in point at “Nrityasangam”, a janmashtami offering by “Antara”
dance academy. The dance academy is run Anuradha Jog who has a wonderful
ability to detect and nurture talent and is also a skillful choreographer.
Anuradha is a disciple of the legendary guru, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna.
The performance was a combination of traditional Bharata Natyam along with
Italian ballet movements. Giovanna Leva is a well-known ballerina from
Milan who is also trained in modern dance and jazz. She has been learning
Bharata Natyam under the tutelage of Yamini Krishnamurti.
Each one of
them had exquisite body language and expressive ‘abhinavs’. The performance
started with the younger students offering a pushpanjali seeking the blessings
of all before the commencement of the dances. In the ‘birth of movements’
Giovanna, dressed in an adapted ballet costume, joined in to show how nature
in its myriad forms helped various dance movements to evolve over time.
The students of the academy performed a few dances dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The ‘varnam’ depicting the two births of the Lord was particularly evocative.
Anuradha wove in an element of interest by reciting poems composed in Marathi,
narrated to explain the story, to the sounds of ghungroos and the ghatam.