Joie de vivre, with a crosscountry art form

Indian and Japanese art forms fused seamlessly to depict the celebration of life, creating an ethereal sensation

HYDERABAD: The harmonious blending of the thunderous Odaiko (drums) of the artistes with the graceful moves of the classical dancers amidst the hall had left the gathering spellbound. And the melodious tunes played on ‘shakuhachi’, a Japanese flute, along with the soothing voice of the vocalist amidst the glowing stage made the audience crave for more.

Yes, it was ‘Chi Udaka’- a celebration of Indian and Japanese cultures. While ‘Chi’ means Earth in Japanese, ‘Udaka’ is the Sanskrit word for Water. Chi Udaka is a meeting of the earthiness of Taiko drumming and the flowing sensuality of  dance.

The performance was jointly done by the drummers from Australian-based ‘Taikoz’ and the Indian dancers from ‘Lingalayam’ at an event held in both Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad recently.

The 75-minute show is based on the celebration of life each day. It starts with meditation and prayer before dawn, followed by action symbolising the daily routine and ending with a loving communion at night. The stage was lit with flickering lights, and a duet was performed mimicking the ebb and tide of waves. Male and female drummers danced in synchrony, and the event concluded with the rhythmic voice of the classical Indian vocalist combined with the artiste on the Cello. Ian Cleworth composed the music being used by Taikoz in 1997, and Anandavalli formed her dance company Lingalayam in 1987, based on the Indian classical forms of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

Speaking to Express, Ian Cleworth, who was a part of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 1986 to 2006, expressed, “Traditional dance has its roots in India and I was thrilled to see the response from the Indian audience. The world is a multi-cultural society and collaborating with different nations enables us to exchange our age-old history and traditions in the form of art”.

Anandavalli, Linagalayam’s Artistic director and a classical dance teacher in Australia, said, “Lingalayam has been named after my mother Linga. From the age of nine, I used to come to India from Australia during my holidays to learn classical dance. I was mesmerised by the performance given by Taikoz at a show and that is when the idea of collaborating with them took shape”, expressed

Riley Lee on the Shakuhachi and John Napier on the Cello enthralled the audience with their performance that alternated between Indian and Western music. As part of the Chi Udaka Indian tour 2016, the first performance was given in Chennai and then in Visakhapatnam.
The Chi Udaka team performed in ITC Kakatiya in the city on Saturday. They will next head to Mumbai, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express