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Inaugural of Melbourne chapter of Spic Macay
- Archana Vyasam

October 8, 2019

September 3, 2019, a rather pleasant day in the otherwise unpredictable Melbourne weather marked the inaugural lecture- demonstration by Bharatanatyam exponent Rajeswari Sainath from Hyderabad. The beautiful background of the Amphitheater MPavillion of Monash University served as the venue for the inaugural of the Melbourne chapter of Spic Macay. Which other venue could be better than an educational institute from where Spic Macay found its roots in 1977 at IIT Delhi by the visionary Dr. Kiran Seth.

Rajeswari Sainath seamlessly took the young audience along with artistes from Melbourne through the origin of Natya to Rasanubhava. Setting the tone to this knowledge sharing platform was an invocation to Lord Ganesha. Thereby we were introduced to the central piece Varnam with this approach of imprinting the basics of Bharatanatyam into the young minds which are bhavam, ragam and thalam. Thalam was her choicest subject this afternoon and rightly so, being the disciple of Guru Karaikkudi Mani presiding over the lec-dem. Sainath emphasized the beauty in numbers. She demonstrated the fun through body lines that covered geometry from there to algebra and the basics of math through the thala system which sounded such fun leaving the young students take note of how cool Mathematics can be. The objective of connecting a link with Arts to life was met here; however, the challenge was to cater to the mixed audience that would want to take home something for each self. And this challenge was well taken and met by Sainath through her Navarasa aspect. She spoke about the connection of the art and artist with the audience through Bharatamuni's Rasa sutra.

Navarasas were demonstrated through relevant episodes from epics and mythology like shringara was demonstrated through the love of Radha and Krishna, episode of Rama's Sita Swayamvaram for adbhuta to mention a few. It was an interesting add-on to end with a demonstration of surya namaskaram accompanied with the chants of Buddha for shanta rasa. Rajeswari Sainath very diligently brought to the fore, the association of yoga as an intrinsic part of dance. This statement of practicing yoga through movement had put dance on a pedestal to take note of connectivity with the well-being of an individual practicing either form.

Efforts of Melbourne Spic Macay coordinators Ravi M Ravichandhira and Narmatha Ravichandhira for convening the beginning of such beauty with young visionary volunteers are laudable as we leave the beautiful Monash University campus with this understanding that the subtlety of topics inter-related with dance is always a thing of awe. The beauty of Indian arts is ever refreshing; no matter how many times we see and listen to them, it always adds up to its mystic beauty and is indeed awe inspiring!

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