Straddling Two Cultures, The Kathak Way

Kathak has embellished both the faiths through its presence in Hindu temples, Mughal courts and during the British rule in the citadels of tawaif culture.

Published: 04th January 2014 08:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2014 08:11 AM   |  A+A-

Kathak has embellished both the faiths through its presence in Hindu temples, Mughal courts and during the British rule in the citadels of tawaif culture.The dance programme by Devaniya school of kathak dance students at Krishna Gana Sabha recently provided an insight into the diverse cultures of Hindu and Islam strung seamlessly by Kathak, a dance form that has meandered through both the worlds.

Presenting the cultural abundance of both the religions, the performers Avani Giri, Sweta Sundararajan and D Shankari deftly traversed the diverse worlds. Beginning with incantations to the Hindu gods and goddesses, the shift to the other faith was preluded with pure dance sequences that embodied the essence of the dance form. Moving to the world of ghazals and mehfil with Sufism and a film song essaying mysticism and love, the boundaries between the two cultures had already blurred.

Talking about the show, Jigyasa Giri who choreographed the show and the founder of Devaniya said, “A few sequences have been chosen from existing albums, while the rest of them have been composed by Y Shyamala Rao for the purpose of this production. In order to present variety and skill of the dancers, we also chose different ragas and taalas for each sequence. Instrumental in helping me put this together was my tablaist of 33 years association Y Satyanarayana. The choreographic insights for the show have been from my guru Dr Maya Rao.” The other singers who were part of the production were Monali Bala, Vedanth Bharadwaj , Subiksha Rangarajan, Swetha sundararajan, Y Satyanarayana and Jigyasa.

An enhanced presentation of the same programme will be staged on January 10 at 7:15 pm, as part of the Tapas Natya festival organised by the Tapas Cultural Foundation, at the TN Rajarathinam Pillai Muthamzhil Perumai hall, next to Andhra Mahila Sabha, 92, Dr Durgabai Deshmukh Salai, Adyar.

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