Aatmalaya and CMR group of institutions jointly presented Shaivam, a new production featuring Dr Padmaja Suresh and group. The event showcased the rich traditions of Bharathanatyam based on the theme Shiva. The colourful sets, costumes and choreography presented a vibrant setting for over an hour. The dances, highlighting the cosmic thandava of Lord Nataraja, the yogic image of the sacred Shivalinga, were all performed in varying rhythmic combination set to melodious tunes.
Padmaja performed solo for music set to mantras composed by saints like Thirumular, Abhinavagupta and Patanjali, and for a popular composition of Swathi Tirunal. Interlaced with intricate and complex movements, she brought out the beauty and grandeur of creation and destruction, and emptiness after the deluge, which was controlled and regulated by the dance of Shiva.
Yet another touching rendition was that of the devotee Kannappan, who unhesitatingly offered his eyes to a bleeding Shivalinga and attained the lord’s blessings.
Shaivam is a thematic presentation based on the works of Shaivaite and Smartha saints and poet/composers like Tirumular, who wrote Shaivasiddhantam and Abhinava Gupta, who wrote Kashmir Shaivism.
The performance aims to understand the concept of Saivism, who believe in the formless, the anthropomorphic manifestation as the Nataraja, the divine dancer, and the meditative Dakshinamurthy. The student group, presented Shivapanchaksharamantras, Shivachaleesa, Sahasranama and Vedastavas.
Dancers include Vaishali Ramachandran, Shreya Merchant, Sandhya Gopalan, Vijayalakshmi Sunderaraman, Kruthika Ramesh and Krishna Sharana.
The music ensemble include Balasubrahmanya Sharma, Prasanna Kumar, R Sreehari, H S Venugopal and Saumya Ramachandran.Dr Padmaja Suresh has been trained by prominent gurus like Kalaimamani Guru Kalyanasundaram in dance, music, choreography and nattuvangam and hails from a family of renowned artistes. She has had several years of experience as a Bharatanatyam performer, teacher and choreographer extensively in India and abroad.