Paying homage to the home
planet in Yognat style
Natyalayam presented a scintillating prayer to the Pancha Maha Bhutas or
five magnificent elements of nature, during the 98th Jayanthi celebrations
for Yogamaharishi Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj on the 4th September
2004 at Pondicherry, South India. A packed house witnessed the two-and-a-half
hour dance drama featuring Bharatanatyam, folk dances, and Yogasanas as
well as Natya Karanas.
A team of more than 80 dancers, yoga demonstrators, musicians and artisans as well as stage managers worked under the direction of Amma - Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. Yogacharya Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani assisted her in the direction and choreography. Pulavar I Pattabiraman penned lyrics for the dance drama while Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and eminent musician SV Jagadeesan composed the music.
Dr P Devaraja
IFS (Director, Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Govt
of Pondicherry), a chief guest of the evening, appreciated Yognat for presenting
a topic that is the ‘need of the hour’ in such an entertaining and informative
manner. He stressed the importance of conservation of resources and appreciated
Amma for taking exemplary steps to help the youth of Pondicherry understand
these vital concepts through the Indian cultural arts of dance, music and
Each of the
elements introduced through the respective rhythm and melody and the depiction
of the elements arising from the Divine Tandava or interplay between Shiva
and Shakti, the great energies of the universe, was artistically depicted
by D Lakshmi as Lord Shiva and Padma M Prashanthini as Shakti. SS Lothika,
Sri Sahana, L Kanmani, Nivedha Kannan and S Ghayathri depicted Akash (space),
Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Apas (water) and Pritvi (earth) respectively.
The vibrant depiction of an earthquake by Renuka Devi was also appreciated.
Senior dancers of Yognat performed in tandem, the Swara notes and Jathis
for the respective elements synchronously in an intricate and spell binding
Yognat strives to keep alive the mythology and cultural heritage of Tamilnadu among young children. The world we are leaving behind for the next generation is starved of the many resources that we have seen disappearing before our own eyes. Hopefully the drama will awaken the right spirit of preservation in the next generation especially in a country such as ours.
Presenting the concept of our interdependence on Mother Nature, through the rich cultural heritage medium of Indian dance, music and mantras, is the need of the hour to hopefully create an awareness in the public, of the need to preserve Nature for the greater good of humanity.
production was the tenth major dance drama by Yognat in the past 10 years
and its twenty-fifth dance drama in all. The Yognat troupe has also presented
fifteen mini dance dramas in the past 18 years since the formation of the
Yognat dance troupe.