Culture on campus

April 7, 2013

Even as Art education is gaining visible priority, private and government bodies in the country are putting their best foot forward to make art a viable option to young torch bearers of the future. The University of Hyderabad is counted as one of the premier institutions in the art sector with the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communications having a long history of quality art practise. Celebrating its silver jubilee this year, the SN School campus is flying high with various Departments putting up special shows and performances.

The Department of Dance joined in the celebrations by presenting the dance drama ‘Avasyam Swaccha Paalanam’ – Need for Good Governance. Signalling a welcome concept of social awaremenss through art, the production was a silted amalgamation of tradition, classicism and innovation drawing parallels through a mythological theme on one hand and a social theme on the other.

Conceptualized by one of the revered faculty of the Department of Dance, Guru Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry, the dance drama portrayed the story of Lord Indra committing a crime and losing his power and post only to be given to Nahusha, known for his valorous deeds and having performed hundred sacrifices (Ashwamedha Yagna). Nahusha is overwhelmed with power and that brings arrogance and seeps him in deeds of misuse of power with greed and lust, only to be cursed into becoming a serpent. The social aspect converges through political parties fighting for that seat of power in all their unfair means to degrade a nation that laments for loss of identity. Power - the root of all troubles!

The production shone through some classic choreography, be it the inricately woven and crisp jathis by dancers of the court, synchronized dancing, the role of Indra played with masculinity, the lead role of Nahusha elevating in expressiveness, the supporting characters doing their bit to the right extent. The transition from myth to society was the icing on the cake with a pictursque vision. It was a thought provoking use of a prop in the form of a palanquin showing Nahusha’s anxious journey towards Sachi Devi, Indra’s wife. The scence was flawlessly executed by dancers working in tandem to create a feel of a wonderful journey. Classical dancers came out in new avatars to the fullest to give some powerful natural expressions in the later half.

Music was very evocative and the transition from the classical was made effortless through some aptly fitting heartwarming folk tunes. DSV Sastry deserves credit for his musical score, able management of the orchestra and his soulful rendering along with an equally powerful Padma Sastry.  It is never an easy task to mount a production of this scale in an institutionalized set up with an entourage of 25 students, but for the spirit of the students and an undying passion on the part of the conceiver Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry. As rightly put by the Vice Chancellor of the University, “Take a bow, you deserve it!”