Conference: Dec 19, 2008
Thus, the music and song the dancer used was almost simple and colloquial. With glib movements and subtle expressions, Sharodi could ingeniously bring out the Hasya Rasa. She depicted the shrewd anti heroine who was responsible for the change of course in the epic... she plots, she spoils and celebrates her prospects. Manthara dances joyously as a swan and nurtures a secret ambition of ruling Ayodhya, but how? By becoming the mistress of Bharata!!
The poetic analogies and the dancer's depiction of the same was simply dazzling, especially when Swapna sang, described and expressed the phrases "lola netre" or the one with rolling eyes, of a wanton woman! With more such metaphors and expressive imagery, Swapnasundari herself seemed to have mesmerized the audience! The auditorium roared with claps as the dancer culminated her power packed presentation with Keshavadas' (17th century poet) verses based on Soorpanakha's eccentric character with a brief expressional dance. Well done!!
Reamker... where Hanuman is in love!
A brief screening of the film 'Sovann Machha' or the golden mermaid showed a dancer, beautifully clad in shimmering gold costume being enticed by a dancer sporting a monkey mask. The dance was a contrast of a graceful mermaid against a mischievous dancing monkey. This sub plot in the Cambodian Reamker is indeed an interesting facet in the evolution of Ramayana where Hanuman mates a mermaid!
Devika blended Tamil folk dancers, shadow leather puppets and song interspersed with informal dialogue, to the delight of the onlookers. Devika also lured the children into the story telling by making them participate with all enthu!! Ramayana for children could have been nothing better!!
What they said...
"Here is a multi-dimensional approach to this oft repeated theme of Ramayana which showcases different facets of story telling. And as the conference is progressing day after day, it is an enriching experience... Any conference convening should evolve into this level of professionalism...," discussed young dance gurus Sreelatha Vinod, Sasirekha Raammohan and Divyasena from the forum called Prayatnam.
"We see an
in-depth treatment in the present conference, where presenters seem to
justify their demonstrations. It is also an enriching experience
to see children involved in a serious Natya symposium by including a special
story telling session. This is how we could inculcate newer generation
into the classical arts, those who are otherwise left to cinema and books
for their knowledge, by including them in a few sessions. I see the conference
as one of the best until today."
Pratima Sagar is a cultural commentator and critic based in Hyderabad.