Yugma - the dance confluence
- Dr. Sunita Yedavally

October 9, 2012

On September 23, about 200 people were privileged to witness ‘Yugma - the dance confluence’ brought to us by Maitrii-Detroit. This is the second year that Maitrii has brought to the Detroit classical dance enthusiasts, a special, high quality program in keeping with their mission. Maitrii is an organization formed by accomplished artistes who reside locally here in the Detroit area.  This group consists of Radhika Acharya, Sandhya Sree Athmakuri, Manisha Dongre, Shreelina Ghosh-Mukherjee and Asha Subramanian. These dancers are all exceptional in their own right, each proficient in a different style of classical dance. Their deep commitment to sustain and promote our rich cultural heritage has led them to come together to form this group and  collectively showcase various classical styles of dance by bringing acclaimed artistes to perform in this area.

Padmavani and Jaikishore Mosalikanti

Vaishali and Hemant Panwar

‘Yugma - the dance confluence’ consisted of two couples performing two very different styles of classical dance, Kathak from Jaipur and Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh. Both couples are internationally acclaimed artistes, married in life and in dance. 

Padmavani and Jaikishore Mosalikanti based in Chennai with their own dance academy performed in the Kuchipudi style.  Vaishali and Hemant Panwar based in Toronto, Canada with their own dance academy performed in the Kathak style. Both couples presented items choreographed by themselves to melodious music, with incredible grace and perfect synchrony.  The power and intricacy of the footwork could only be appreciated by sight and no words can do justice in trying to describe it. They each performed three items in the evening’s program.

Durga Tharangam performed by the Mosalikantis in the Kuchipudi style portrayed all three aspects of the style of nritta, nritya and natya. The couple depicted the story of Goddess Durga who kills the evil Mahishasura, and also described the beauty and divine characteristics of the Goddess. The dance concluded with a plate dance, where the dancer performs complex rhythmic footwork on the rim of a brass plate.

The Kathak duets performed by the Panwars, including the Tarana depicted lightning speed footwork performed with incredible grace. The number of consecutive pirouettes performed by the Panwars with such ease left the audience dizzy with wonder. Both couples left the audience spellbound and hungry for more.  For those unfamiliar with one style or the other or both, this was certainly an enlightening experience. 

This program raises the bar even further for the type of program Maitrii will have to bring in the future to keep its discriminating audience satisfied. 

Dr. Sunita Yedavally is a disciple of Sandhya Sree Athmakuri.