CHENNAI: Dancer Krithika Subrahmanian seems to have mastered the art of wooing an audience to each of her productions. While she comes up with something new with every production of hers, this time it was surprisingly different. Not only did she manage convincing Isaignani Iaiyaraaja to compose music for her dance production, ‘Swappnam – A dance musical where dreams come alive’, organised by NaMaargam Dance Company and Sreshta – Sumath & Co, she also ensured that songs were rendered by well-known faces in the music industry.
Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, where the dance musical was staged this Sunday, not just proved to be a hotspot for music and dance aficionados, but was an occasion that saw doyens Santoor player Shivkumar Sharma and Ilaiyaraaja sharing the stage (during the launch of a CD comprising nine songs from the entire composition). While the audience rejoiced in the rare moment, all awaited with enthusiasm to watch the dance performance, and obviously listen to Ilaiyaraaja’s first ever composition for a classical dance production.
When Krithika finally took centre stage with famous bharathanatyam dancer Vaibhav Arekar, we were taken to a dreamland (literally!). True to its name, the 90-minute dance musical explored the world with dreams. Dreams about obsession, recognition, contact, detached attachment and romance, with lord Shiva (played by C V Chandrasekhar) as the main focus, everyone could relate to the performance, which was rendered meticulously by young talent, who were handpicked by Krithika and Vaibhav from across India. While colourful costumes, attractive embellishments, enthralling expressions, impeccable lighting and a slideshow (that went on simultaneously) added vigour to the performance, the songs kept the audience in rapt attention.
Devotional songs and evergreen Tamil numbers like Kaanavendaamo, which found their way into the composition were enjoyed by the audience, as we could see men and women from across age groups tapping their feet. And the Hindi song Vishweshwar Kar darshan, which was played even as the dancers made slow impressive dance movements, left us with tears in our eyes. Flourishing voice symphonies, ballads, soulful padams and operatic overtures gave us an experience we will cherish for a long time.
To sum up the experience – it was a Sunday evening well spent by all who were present!