NEW DELHI: In a very different take of love on the day of love, Sharanya Chandran is all set to present a unique motif of the ardhanareeshwara where Shiva and Shakti, reside side by side, complementing their energies and capabilities through her solo Bharatanatyam performance. Titled Love In The Time Of Kama, Sharanya’s presentation will be one part of India International Centre’s Double Bill Concert Series wherein two artistes perform on the same evening.
Talking about her performance, the disciple and daughter of Padma Shri Geeta Chandran, Sharanya says, "It is just a coincidence that our show is being organised on February 14, the Valentine’s day. When it did, I thought that there needed to be a link or a theme which resonates through the performance with this day of love. And found the idea of looking at love from the eyes of Shiva. Also, with Shivaratri round the corner, the concept will have a double connect."
Sharanyaa, recipient of Swami Haridas Sangeet Kala Ratna Samman, adds the first piece of the evening will be ardhanareeshwara by poet Vidyapati who penned in Maithali. “I have choreographed this piece myself with inputs from my guru and mother. It talks about ardhanareeshwara but not as half man-half woman and opposites which we tend to think on more than one occasion.
But this is not about opposites. It is the coming together of Shiva and Parvati as one being, about uniting of the souls. Love is explored through this concept,” explains Sharanya who has been passionately learning, choreo g r aphing and performing Bharatanatyam for over two-and-a-half decades now. She goes on to add that ardhanareeshwara is an extremely interesting choreographic aspect. “As it has a lot of scope in terms of visual representation, I have tried to explore it. The poetic base has been integrated with rhythmic inputs. The second one will be the centrepiece of the evening, a varnam performance for 30 minutes and more.
It will be a Tanjore quartet varnam in Ragam Kamboji that narrates the plight of a dejected heroine completely besotted by her Lord, Shiva of Brihadeeshwara. Even as she awaits his arrival, arrows of love by Cupid, Manmatha or Kamadeva torment her,” she shares. Varnam is a form of song in the Carnatic music repertoire consisting of short metric pieces which encapsulate the main features and requirements of a raga. Finally, Sharanya will perform the Vidyapati piece wherein the aspect of nindastuti comes alive as Radha argues with Kamadeva about how he has mistaken her for Shiva. Sharanya is an integral part of Natya Vriksha, an organisation founded by her guru and mother Geeta Chandran, which aims preserving and promoting Indian dance and culture.
Ask Sharanya where does one get aficionados of dance and she is quick to reply, “Banaras is one such place, especially if you are performing at the Sankat Mochan Temple. While you are dancing for the lord, the audiences chant the mantras which is a very special feeling. An artiste needs involvement and it comes in aplenty there. The same happens in Vrindavan too.” She adds that London and Thailand have great audience discipline too. What’s more is that they study and then attend music or dance shows. “They are a knowledgeable lot,” she puts in. Sharanya works as a policy professional at J-PAL South Asia. Ask her how she balances work-dance-personal life and she says with a smile, “I have cut down on my social life and then I find time for myself. I rehearse in the mornings before leaving for office, then in the evenings after office hours. Luckily, I have a strong support system at home which is great help.”
When: February 14, 7.00pm
Where: CD Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre