Go to world stage 
Live theatre, dance & martial arts movements made it a memorable experience
- Chippy Gangjee, Bangalore
January 28, 2008 

(This first appeared in Bangalore Mirror, dated January 17, 2008) 

Exhilarating! Utterly Brilliant! Mind-boggling! Amazing! Superbly surprising! Incredible! Frenetic! Balletic! Fantastic! Flawless! Supercalifragilistic and Expialidocious! No, I'm Not doing an exercise in adjectives! (Although in retrospect the list above could work as a handy reference guide!). What I am doing, is trying to find enough superlatives to give you a feel of a dance performance I experienced the other day! Superb is simply not succinct enough to sum up what I saw.

Nritarutya's Prayog had the Chowdiah packed to the rafters with a 'standing room only' crowd of music, dance and theatre aficionados but what was really interesting was the amalgam of styles that made up the performance.

Speak about space utilisation! And not leaving dead spaces of any kind. There were even guys suspended from the roof of the stage from harnesses who contributed purely with their legs from above to one of the dance sequences. As did they from the wings by getting on to each other’s shoulders to appear the impossible heights! WOW!

The entire show was a mere three sequences, choreographed giftedly by three young dancer- choreographers. To my mind, these supremely physically fit and highly trained folks, who have worked on this show for two years – I was given to understand – have achieved a level of excellence that goes beyond the pale. Moreover the use, nay, the veritable unleashing of imagination and the daring "derring do" they have displayed; the unmitigated guts of combining film, both in commentary and presentation; live theatre and dance; martial arts movements; use of props – including an ingenious see-saw and transparent plastic balls; using a Chinese dragon replete with dancers – are an out-and-out uninhibited outpouring of high energy, exalted creativity.   

Ouff! That was a mouthful, wasn't it? But that's exactly how I feel about the work done by Mayuri and Madhuri Upadhya and to a slightly less – but still good work – by Sathya B G. Although there was a sequence of dance within his "Mars" where two huge male-and-female portraits had four pairs of legs each, of male and female dancers respectively, some aspects of his piece were a little too martial artistic only and therefore predictable. The two young ladies with their "Chittara" patterns based on a kaleidoscope, and "Dwandwa" or conflict left one feeling satiated mentally and physically as though after a great repast – it was mind-boggling! 

It would be remiss if I didn't also say that they were backed in terms of music by a group of individuals and a band I consider among the best in the country – Thermal and a Quarter. And the costumes were designed by the renowned Deepika Govind. Yes, The Fashionista! Prasad Bidappa was the MC and a darned good one too – short, pithy and sweet!

The dancers – unfortunately too many to name individually – were all outstanding. In conclusion on this program, I would like to make two comments:
1. Move over English Theatre. If you don't get your act/s together soon you’re going to find yourself left out in the boon docks!
2. Export this production to the dance capitals of this planet as soon as possible. New York, London, Paris, are just waiting for you – seriously. It's not often that I give a standing ovation to a group; this one deserved it. If you missed it; it's entirely your loss – don't be foolish enough to miss their next!

Chippy Gangjee is an HR consultant in communication skills and is often preoccupied with his passion for food, theatre and arts. He has also done his bit of acting.