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Anubandh - Connectedness
- P Praveen Kumar

May 8, 2022

When someone adores a particular person for their sheer magnificence, anything and everything about them is a wow factor, because these personalities are generally deeply ingrained and leave you with a relatively enduring feel. It's been so for me ever since I saw Malavika Sarukkai's performances. Each time I watch her, I am surprised at the sheer magnificence which is maintained and the excellence she pours in each time, be it her solo margam or her solo production. Each work of hers brings in different dimensions in art encompassing one's self or the situations around.

Her new work 'Anubandh- connectedness' was her response to the isolation, loneliness which occurred during the pandemic. Each artiste's journeys, experiences are different in a context like this. But connecting those moments to spread hope and reassurance with gratitude was what Malavika Sarukkai did. The Pancha Mahaboothas were the links to this production. As she navigated us through these elements, it lifted the spirits, raised the energy levels and made us believe that dance is a "way to good life".

Malavika Sarukkai

Malavika Sarukkai's work has always gained depth with her deeply rooted traditional movements along with experimental vocabulary with detailing in each department of dance presentation. The poetries of Sumantra Ghosal, sound design by Sai Shravanam, light design by Niranjan Gokhale (special mention to the sequence where the assassination happens), music interludes by Eshwar Ramakrishnan were all amplified to bring out a certain quality or rather excellence in dance movements.

When the Vayu element was exploring the caress of the body, the Fire showed the last pyre which the same body consumed. This was interesting personally for me as how our body is part of these greater powers and without these rejuvenating powers one is stuck or caged within walls. She beautifully showed that speech, reach, touch were all grief at that moment and how the all pervading space gives the experience of a journey deep within. Malavika Sarukkai's exploration of being "connected" correlated with many of us I suppose, as she brought in hands after hands in her movements thus conveying that "being human" is the need of the hour as we are still seeing the chaos around our neighboring countries.

P Praveen Kumar
Bangalore based Bharatanatyam dancer P Praveen Kumar is the artistic director of Chithkala School of Dance.

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