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Dance, the pleasant experiment of all times

By Brunda Nagraj

With the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-2021, the lives of many artists tumbled. Although there were many online shows and performances; the life of artists, and the others involved in organising such events were jeopardised. However, 2022 has been kind to these passionate people, and the auditoriums and stages are coming back to life again. Kapardhini 2022 and Mankutimmana Maarga are the two phenomenal dance shows that happened in Bengaluru at ADA Rangamandira and the JSS auditorium.

Kapardhini 2022

Kapardhini 2022, organised by an eminent dancer and choreographer, Darshan Shankar would hypnotise the art-lovers with their exclusive concepts, brilliant lighting, and stage setup. Renowned choreographers and dance enthusiasts practising in different genres unite in harmony to give their best to the audiences. Madhulita Mohapatra, Nirupama Rajendra, Satyanarayana Raju, and Darshan Shankar were the artists that took the audience in awe with their electrifying performances.

The Odissi dancer, Madhulita Mohapatra moving graciously like a river to the famous composition, Jagannatha Ashtakam composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, is unparalleled. The other scene enacted was the Draupadi Vastraharan from the great epic Mahabharata ignites the imagination levels in the crowd.

As the dancer sets the perfect ambience, the show reaches a euphoric state by the Kathak performance from Nirupama and Rajendra, a couple known for their avant-garde. They leave no stone unturned in flabbergasting the spectators with their impactful and meaningful choreography. These dance masters are blessed with an uncanny ability to explore the most untouched dimension of music with their creativity and passion. One must not miss the most unique dance concept called ‘Abhisar’ performed by the duo. Abhisar, in Sanskrit, means, ‘in pursuit of,’ and in this act, watching Nirupama move like a goddess in disguise of an effervescent river in the quest of uniting with her beloved, the mighty ocean is delightful. The couple also performs vividly for Marathi Bhajans, called ‘Abhangs,’ devotional hymns in the praise of Lord Vitthala.

As they leave you with a soul-filling experience, the vibe becomes intense when Satyanarayana Raju, a popular Bharatanatyam dancer takes charge with his brilliant and effortless moves. The flawless depiction of the mudras, the combination of strident and subtle expressions along with pulsating and delicate movements in harmony with the music make the performance magical. Finally, Darshan Shankar transports the audience to a world of ecstasy with his exceptional choreography skills and aesthetic appearance. As he becomes one with the characters of Lord Hanuman and Sri Kanakadasa (a famous poet of Kannada), leaves your heart and eyes swell with pure devotion. Dasyam, is a choreography where the artist takes you to a spiritual realm through his devotion as he transforms himself into Kanakadasa, the great poet that composed several hymns and poems under the pen name ‘Adi Keshava.’

Mankutimmana Maarga – a combination of poetry and Bharatnatyam Maarga tradition

As Kapardhini-2022 draws its curtain with success, another beautiful composition of ‘Mankutimmana Maarga’ welcomes the art-lovers with its in-a-class-by perspectives. Dedicated to the most famous writer and poet D V Gundappa on his 135th birth anniversary of the laureate, this dance performance is a pure prodigy. His most famous work ‘Mankutimmana Kagga,’ known as Kannada Bhagavad-Gita is the crux of the show. The verses from the Kaggas are contemplated beautifully using the Bharatnatyam Maarga tradition by the two eminent dancers and Ranga Bhoomi Kalavidaru (theatre artistes) Sneha Kappanna and Padmini Achchi. Their relentless dedication and passion can be witnessed with every move and expression.

The unique way of weaving the Kaggas in alignment with the incidents happening in society leaves a huge impact on the psyche. The story comes to life with terrific expressions coupled with brilliant narration. It invokes devotion and self-realisation, all at once in the hearts of the crowd. Every act had the impact of thawing a frozen heart!  The perfect usage of Carnatic music and instruments enhanced the aura of the place. The colourful traditional attire and ornaments along with the lighting transformed the entire auditorium into a celestial abode. It is not a mere dance performance that entertains people, it leaves you spellbound with thought-provoking thoughts. Perhaps, art is the only experiment that never fails to please the hearts of a mass. It is undoubtedly the only trial that disproves, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ instead, ‘Invention is the mother of necessity, a demand for an artist to live their passion in the true spirit and thrive every moment to better themselves and throw light of bountiful wisdom, happiness, and joy on everyone that surround them. Let us all treasure these precious gems!

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