“I love Kerala,” says dancer and choreographer Arunima Gupta. “It is so similar to West Bengal.” Arunima, a Bengali, is the founder and artistic director of ‘Aangik’, a contemporary dance company. She had been trained by the Kolkata-based dancers, Dr Manjusri Chaki and her daughter Ranjabati Sircar, both of whom passed away a few years ago. The duo had championed an innovative dance style called Navanritya. And Arunima had been their student for many years.
“Today, I am one of the torch-bearers,” she says. “In this type of dance, we express a wide variety of emotions using the body as a vehicle. Navanritya is a synthesis of traditional and classical dance forms, yoga, and marital arts. I also use the body dynamics of modern western dance.”
Arunima and her group of dancers will be performing at the ‘Mystic Shades’ programme on November 22, at 7.30 pm at the IMA Hall in a programme organised by Samudra Arts International (SAI) and the IMA Cochin (Cultural Wing).
Meanwhile, Veena Janardhanan, founder-chairman of SAI says that they want to support and preserve traditional Indian music, dance, and other art forms. “SAI aims to introduce our art and culture to national and international audiences,” she says. “This is our second programme in Kochi and we are expecting a good response.”
The other artistes who will be performing include mandolin maestro Pandit Sugato Bhaduri, who is regarded as one of the fastest mandolin artists in the world.
In 2006, Pandit Bhaduri was the best mandolin soloist of the world at the Euro Festival in Bamberg, Germany. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Gandharva Ratna title by Sangeet Samraat Ustad Alladiya Khan Memorial.
As for Heman, he has played keyboard with playback singer KS Chitra for many years. “But he is a very good singer of ghazals,” says Veena. “So, he will be singing along with young singer Tulasi Nambiaar.”
Says Tulasi, “We will mostly singing songs by Jagjit and Chitra Singh.”
And there will also be ‘Songs of Arabia’ by KP Jayan.
“I will be singing traditional Arabic songs,” says Jayan, who has lived for many years in Dubai. “Arabic is a tough language.” Jayan is the only Asian to bring out an album of Arabic songs.
Entrance is free and is on a first-come first-served basis.