Maha Shakthi- the energy of thought, desire and action  
- Vijaya Aravind 

August 10, 2008 
Presented by Ananya, a dance feature was performed by Articulate, Bangalore, on 29th July 2008 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore. 

Natya Shastra sets out what constitutes a good dancer. Appearance is one among several stringent demands. Eyes, especially, says a thousand words. When I decided to see a dance feature performed by an ensemble that include the visually challenged, I set aside the rule of the Shastra and gave a break to my impressions on blind people’s capabilities, and watch with "open eyes" and open mind.  I sat amazed as the performance unfolded, discounting their disability but showcasing their ability - an ability to give us a visual treat, despite their visual challenges. 

For the visually impaired, every step is an adventure. These dancers have overcome the fears of falling and made their hesitant moves into beautiful movements across space in time. Their adaptation to the restricted space, orientation towards the cardinal directions, and exhibiting gestures which they have never seen, left the audience amazed. In this age of dance dramas performed by classical dancers, who pay no attention to the authenticity of the aharya which need to complement the role played, the blind changing costumes for each segment of their appearances, left the audience in wonder. Handling stage accessories, and placing them in allotted slots thus building a visual grandeur as the dance progressed, left the audience speechless. 

Performing Indian classical dances demands a high degree of practice and perseverance. The geometrical precision of Bharatanatyam with its complex rhythm patterns was dexterously performed. The Sanskrit shlokas were well articulated through codified mudras. Amongst the audience were some visually disabled who seemed to enjoy an audio imagery created through the foot work of their brethren.  

The feature Maha Shakthi made a visual statement, that loss of vision is no handicap to present dance aesthetically. The Poorvaranga, performed as described in the Natya Shastra, set the mood for the evening. Adapting the temple ritual Mallari to dance, and invoking the Goddesses was spiritually awakening. The characters from history, as examples of the power of intellect, desire and action, aroused the hidden strength in us. 
Buse Gowda, Ramudu, Guru Prasad, Satish and Shiva Swamy are the visually challenged dancers, who performed with Suparna Venkatesh, Nandana, Veena, Nishanth and others under the artistic direction of Mysore B Nagaraj. 

This event was a fund raiser by the challenged to extend medical facilities to the ailing musicians. By creating a dance tapestry, the visually challenged gave us a message.  If we can do it, you can do it too. "Arise, awake, attempt and achieve your dreams".