at World Dance Alliance Festival
- Dr. AV Sathyanarayana,
If Kashi is a
pilgrimage center for Hindus, India is the Kashi for Indian classical dancers
from overseas. World Dance Alliance Karnataka Chapter presented its 2nd
International Dance Festival at Bangalore. Navia Natarajan from the US,
performed on January 7. The very name Navia denotes new. In
every performance of hers, we can find something new in her presentation
without diluting the essence of grammar of classical dance.
The opening number
presented by her was Pushpanjali in Ragam Bhairavi, thalam Roopak and followed
by a sthuti in praise of Goddess Saraswathi, a composition of Debur Srivatsa.
She performed a Varnam composed by Papanasam Sivan set to Raga Nattukurinji
and tala Adi, in praise of the cosmic dancer Lord Nataraja. Here, the dancer,
who is an ardent devotee of Lord Nataraja. says "Swami naan undhan adimai."
The dancer elaborated on how the devotee is protected by Lord Nataraja
and how with time and age, the feelings for the Lord ripens. Her expressions
while waiting for Lord Nataraja was full of humble submission and dedication.
The dancer depicted how one can attain sat chit ananda stita pragnaa
when the dancer experiences the presence of god. Her presentation of Shiva
as a dancer, as Gangadhara with broad shoulders and long hair was lucid.
The constant chanting of the name of Lord Shiva is more meaningful and
the essence of life.
The Padam was
in ragam Junjuti and eka thalam, a composition of Oothukadu Venkatasubbaiyer
about "Vishamakara Kannan," a mischievous Krishna. The act of escaping
with milk and butter and needling of Gopis was natural. All the dances
presented by her are choreographed by herself. Navia is an example
for dancers that one should be very careful about maintaining one's physical
Dr. AV Sathyanarayana
is a dance therapist.