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Karanamaham: Effective portrayal of Mother Earth
- Vijay Shanker

July 26, 2019

Mysore Association, one of the leading social and cultural organizations of Mumbai, presented the dance-drama "Karanamaham" by Bangalore based Bharatanatyam exponent and mentor Mamatha Karanth along with her ten talented disciples at the Mysore Association auditorium, Mumbai on 28th June. In spite of the advent of the monsoon, it was gratifying to watch the attendance of the select audience in order to witness a presentation that relates to mother earth, nature and the contemporary society with the perspective of a better life and existence for human beings.

Mamatha Karanth has established her own dance academy Natyalahiri. Besides the arangetram of several of her disciples, Mamatha has performed for several festivals both in India and abroad. Her presentations are a fine combination of technical excellence within the framework of Bharatanatyam, aesthetic quality pertaining to both performance and expressions, thematic contents that are thought-provoking and relates to the modern society with a social cause and message for a better life and living.

Mamatha says, "Whenever we start dancing, we seek blessings and pardon for stamping on mother earth and that kept me pondering as to why we take everything for granted and fail to understand the significance of the 'Pancha-bhutas' which is so essential for our living and existence and it is then that I realized that I must do something on Mother Earth and that is how it all started, hence Karanamaham was formed."

Karanamaham starts with an invocation to Bhoodevi, Mother Earth, and how it evolved into a place for living, thereby life being evolved and human being appeared on earth, commencing with stone age, bronze age and she was happy. While civilization developed with the usage of earth being polluted due to modern machinery, industrial pollution and chemicals for agriculture and global warming, Mother Earth claimed, "I lived without you in the past and can live without you in the future also." We can't wait for Kalki to take the avatar for peace and healthy living, it is our responsibility to be the change and to protect and preserve Mother Earth for healthy living.

The production merges scientific facts with the nuances of Bharatanatyam. In other words, it brings us closer to 'lokadharmi' relating to the contemporary society. Mother Earth is a bigger manifestation of feminine energy and an effort to elevate the human consciousness to higher dimension of collective awareness. Attired in blue costumes, the dancers danced in uniformity and formed a fine combination of movements and expressions. With choreography by Mamatha Karanth and music by Srivatsa, flute by Jayaram, keyboard by Sri Venu, sitar by Sumarani, the dancers who performed were Mamatha Karanth, Mayuri Karanth, Navya, Maneesha, Ashwini, Nikita Subramami, Aishwarya, Shubhra, Ashmitha, Hamsini Karanth and Aditi Atreya. It was a fine combination of Bharatanatyam with modern thought.

Vijay Shanker is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.

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