New Delhi, Jan 2016: With its vivid expression of emotions, its sculpturesque poses and the rhythmic depiction of innate human feelings, Bharatnatyam has been one of India’s most loved classical dance forms that have retained its popularity over centuries and spread its following to even distant lands.
This January, Aayam, the society for promotion of Indian culture, is presenting a never-seen-before performance of Bharatnatyam that blends the seamless singing of Hindustani classical music with the rhythmic elements of Carnatic music to attempt a new take on the traditional south Indian dance form.
Choreographed by veteran danseuse and actress Ms Sindhu Mishra, and performed solo by her young and dynamic disciple Shashrek Ambardar, the recital is in Hindi and offers a unique synthesis between two different musical forms.
Shri Kapil Mishra, Hon’ble Minister of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi, will be the Chief Guest at the performance, while Padma Vibhushan Dr Sonal Mansingh will grace the occasion as a Special Guest. The performance will also be attended by other veteran artists including Padma Bhushan Sri Raja Reddy; Padma Shri Pt Bhajan Sopori; and Padma Shri Smt Bharti Shivaji as Guests of Honor.
Explaining the unique features of the dance recital, Ms Sindhu Mishra says that she and her team have worked tremendously hard on this recital to offer something different and enchanting to the lovers of Indian classical dances.
“This recital is different for its unique amalgamation of Hindustani and Carnatic music not just in rhythms but also in vocals. The vocal renditions are in both Hindustani and Carnatic, and this lends a unique blend to the traditional south Indian dance form. Unlike most Bharatnatyam recitals which are performed by women, this is a solo performance by a male dancer. The entire Varnam displays the Sringar Ras of the Nayak (and not the Nayaki), depicted through the episode where Rama has a glimpse of Sita for the first time in a garden before the Dhanush Yagya,” she says.
Bharatnatyam is based on episodes from Tulsidas’s Ramacharitmanas, one of the most loved epics of Indian literature, a poetic retelling of Valmiki’s Ramayana. It was Tulsidas’s epic that successfully took the Ramayana’s understanding from a select elite to the common masses by narrating it in their language.
Ms Mishra points that with young and dedicated artists like Shashrek are at the forefront of the art scene, there is no worry of Indian classical arts losing popularity.
Currently studying Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, Shashrek is a rigorously trained and dedicated dancer whose grace and hold over his art form belies his age. He was conferred with the National Balshree Honour in the year 2009 in the field of Creative Performing Arts by the President of India.
“I feel honoured to perform at a prestigious stage in front of some of India’s most veteran artists as well as the discerning audience of Delhi. We are hopeful that this unique experiment will be loved and appreciated by the people. I thank our troupe and my guru for giving me this opportunity,” says Shashrek.
Shashrek has been learning Bharatnatyam since 14 years, and is a recipient of the prestigious National Scholarship granted by Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Ministry of Culture. Shashrek holds the unique distinction of representing India and performing at the World Children’s Theatre Ensemble held at the ROYAL ALBERT HALL in London and has also performed at cultural exchange programmes in Germany, Japan, Iceland and Dubai. While not foregoing his passion for dance, Shashrek plans to take up policymaking in the future.
The performance is scheduled for January 15, 6.00 PM at LTG Auditorium, Mandi House.