A Bharatanatyam breather
- Shveta Arora
e-mail: shwetananoop@gmail.com
Pics:  Anoop Arora

May 21, 2013

On the 10th of May, Santanu Chakraborty gave a Bharatanatyam performance at the IHC in Delhi. After the heat and traffic snarls on the Delhi roads, a performance like this is really a breather. Santanu is a Bharatanatyam exponent trained by Sonal Mansingh and Geeta Chandran, and at present, he is training under Guru V Krishnamoorthy. He has been awarded the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Award’ in memory of the late Rajiv Gandhi.

The performance began with a pushpanjali, an offering to Lord Ganesha, followed by shlokas. The next piece was a mela prapti. It is a pure dance piece as an obeisance to Lord Shiva who is worshipped as the God of dance. Shiva is worshipped as the Umapati, Shankar, as the one who is adorned by snakes and has a third eye. The piece was performed by Santanu and his disciples with good technique. The next piece was a solo by Santanu. It was abhinaya based on the bhajan “Shri Ramachandra kripalu bhaja mana.” The recorded song was in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. The translation into pure Bharatanatyam was very well conceptualized and enacted with some good stances. The Lord who has lotus feet, hands and eyes, takes on the task of vanquishing evil for his devotees.

The fourth piece was based on Shakti or Devi. In Hindu mythology, Devi is worshipped in various forms. The composition was sung and choreographed by Guru V Krishnamoorthy. Devi is worshipped as the Ganesh janani, Durga, Laxmi, Radha, Saraswati, Gauri, Parvati, Draupadi. Durga is ferocious, Draupadi is characterized by her anger whereas Radha is coy and kind. The expressions and abhinaya by Santanu and his disciples, with well-rehearsed stances, left a mark. The last piece was a Tillana in raag Valachi in adi talam, a solo by Santanu. The dancer seeks the blessings of Lord Shiva to make him successful as a dancer. The nritta piece had some good footwork, soft-footed leaps, and the depiction of Nataraja.

Shveta Arora is a blogger based in Delhi. She writes about cultural events in the capital.