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Saturday 21 October
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In a nutshell
Akademi presents Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam, a rarely seen dance style from Kerala, in an evening exploring the moments of revolution in Indian mythology.
In this programme, the audience will get to see Mohiniattam by Upahaar Dance (Shalini Shivashankar). The simplicity of Mohiniattam will be complemented by the vivacity of Bharatanatyam performed by Natyasri (Geetha Sridhar).
The concept of Vijayam (Victory) is emphasised through Lasya based movements and elaborate Abhinaya, characteristic to Mohiniattam. A revolutionary piece, Rama Saptham was resurrected by Late Kalamandalam Kalyanikuttyamma in late 1900s. Traditionally, Saptham was performed through the entire evening but Kalyanikuttyamma pursued the idea of including it into the modern repertoire whilst retaining some salient features. It tells the story of Lord Rama’s victory over the demon King Ravana from the famous epic Ramayana.
Kavacham or Armour is a portrait in dance that crowns the warrior Boy-god Lord Muruga. The poetic hymn urges the lord to design an armour to protect oneself from various predicaments of life, both mental and physical. Though this 16th century text is pertinent to a bygone era, its contemporaneousness enables it to be appropriated with the current issues be it human violence, epidemics, injustice or suffering.
Kavacham is a peaceful revolution against repression of any kind, expressed through the idiom of Bharatanatyam, and nuances of Kalaripayattu.
What to Expect
This curated evening will be divide into two parts:
Vijayam - Shalini Shivashankar, Daniella Zak Varghese, Pallavi Anand, Anekha Pillai and Rani Shenoy will commence with a Ganesha sthuthi followed by Rama Saptham- a unique piece in Mohiniattam repertoire introduced by the legendary Late Smt Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma. They will conclude the recital with a thillana which highlights the soft gentle movements characteristic to Mohiniattam.
Kavacham – Geetha Sridhar and her group will explore the piece through the idiom of Bharathanatyam, and nuances of Kalari payittu to portray the imageries of the text.
Upahaar Dance School – Artists include Shalini Shivashankar, Daniella Zak Zara Varghese, Pallavi Anand, Anekha Pillai
Natyasri - Geetha Sridhar and group
Image credits: Geetha Sridhar and Simon Richardson
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Things you should know
Please note: Latecomers permitted between pieces
This event is wheelchair accessible.