An evening of rhythmic bliss
- Chintan Shelat

May 21, 2016

On the eve of 2nd April, amidst the horrifying Bangalore traffic, art lovers gathered at Seva Sadan Auditorium, to plunge into the audio-visual rhythmic repertoire of Kathak. Shantala Trust had organized a classical dance event, one of them was Kathak. The performers were Anusha Karthik, Manisha Ramachandra and Asmita Gupta, disciples of Lakshmi Pradeep, managing director of Praroha Kathak Natyalaya and Performing Art Center, based in Bangalore.

Their repertoire started with a slow number, Krishnashtakam, a nritya sequence which quickly moved to hasthas, something that was unique and new to a regular dance audience. This sequence not only had the rhythmic patterns of tihais but also the demonstration of the usage of single hand gestures. Along these dances there was an informative commentary by Lakshmi Pradeep that kept the interest alive and engaged.

They then moved to Uthan, a little complex to understand as all the three performers showcased different movements at the same time, yet their finishing always came together. The music was a constant 16 beat rhythmic pattern that revealed no more yet kept the structure strong. All the magic was of the dancers’ feet and movements.

Next came a rather long yet, curious piece called Kavitt. Amidst mnemonic bols, there were small lyrical depictions of Radha-Krishna, and Krishna’s playfulness. Despite the ever increasing heat inside the auditorium, the audience was still on the edge of their seats. Many of them couldn’t bear the heat yet did not want to miss a single second of it, so they stood right at the door.

And last but not the least came Tarana, a repertoire added by the Moghul tradition, with so many intricate twists and turns and not a single break. This master choreography really took the test of the dancers. Their feet were tireless, and the evening ended on a high note of a Mughal pose. All in all, it was an amazing evening which was wonderful to watch and to listen.

Bangalore based Chintan Shelat is training in Kathak.  His inclination is towards arts, especially literature.