Religion is not just observed in places of worship. It is also practised on the performing stage. Bharatnatyam danseuse Aparna Chandnani can prove it to you. Such is her devotion for her dance practise that no prescribed system of thoughts and texts can take its place. In her first solo Bharatnatyam recital, she pays respects to the all-encompassing Krishna in a show titled Krishanmai.
Krishna is the apostle of fearlessness and truthfulness for the dancer. For her, he is the supreme Godhood who has experienced all the worldly pleasures and sorrows. “One moment he is an adorable infant prince and the next he is a lewdly suggestive prankster. He is a model lover yet also a hero of the highest order. His life is full of drama,” she says.
Chandnani will be presenting some of the epic stories from his life. The first episode begins with Meera who is in search of a guru, is asking Lord Krishna for a one who would wade a path for her to reach eternal Krishna. Second in the set is Varnam which consists of jathis (pure dance and acting). These are based on Meera’s love, devotion and passion for Krishna.
The third showcases the sweet relationship between mother Yashoda and Krishna. The fourth piece is based on the sweet encounters of Krishna and Radha. The last performance is Thillana. “Madhuvanti thillana is a rhythmic piece in carnatic music that is generally performed at the end of a concert. “Krishna has fascinated me for a long time.
The fact that he was born through telepathic insemination, suckled a villainous ogress to death, slewed demons for fun on his youth, fooled around with milkmaids, proved a brilliant charioteer for Arjuna, had 16,108 wives, many sons, and died nobly while in reclusive meditation, amuses me beyond comprehension.” says Chandnani.
Krishna leads you to the path of adhyatmik gyan (spirituality) according to The Geeta, says the dancer. “You find so much truth in his teachings, reality in his works, a balance of all qualities, love, bhakti and war,” she says.
Krishna is her eternal Guru but if there is somebody she considers her biggest strength in human form, it’s her Shrimati Sindhu Bhagia Mishra, her dance guru, who came into her life only when Chandnani was fully ready to receive the knowledge from her. “I dance for my God and my guru with abandon,” she says. It’s also the purest offering that she can make to them. January 14, at 6 pm, Trivani Kala Sangam, Mandi House.