by Shiri Dance Ensemble
The first performance
of the evening for Kartik Fine Arts was by the Shiri Dance Ensemble from
Arya is a Sanskrit
word for 'noble' and 'divine,' pronounced as 'Aryaa' for the feminine.
The first section contained 5 dance pieces inspired by the great traditions
of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam. The iconography of Devi along with
her fierce and compassionate aspects was established. Anita's personal
imprint on the choreography derives from her research into ritual temple
mudras, especially Arayer Sevai in the Vaishnavite temples in Tamilnadu.
The items were Lalita Sahasranamam chanted by Aruna Sairam and choreographed
by Anita Ratnam, followed by a traditional Kali Kauthuvam choreographed
to traditional lyrics. The third item was Alarippu composed and choreographed
by Hari Krishnan (of Indance, Canada). A composition of Shyama Sastry,
Mayamma was sung by Gayatri Venkataraghavan and choreographed by Anita.
The last item was Thillana in Ratipatipriya raga, composed by Ghatam Karthick,
sung by Palakkad Sriram and choreographed by N Srikanth.
Tara is a Tibetan Devi who embodies aspects of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga. The full length performance of Seven Graces was created by Anita Ratnam with collaborator and choreographer Hari Krishnan over 6 months and had its world premiere in August 2005 in Chennai. "After my solo Vaitharani in 2002, this is my second full length evening work in 14 years and marks my return to a solo format in a contemporary context," says Anita. Tara is a half hour excerpt from Seven Graces. It has no lyrics, and the commissioned music has the meditative quality of Buddhist chanting.
Anita thanked all the vocalists and music producers who readily gave their permission to use their superb recordings. "The steady decline in music for dance, the changing priorities of the young dancers in the city and the almost impossible situation with dance accompanists available for rehearsals has forced me to turn to established vocalists and commissioned recordings for the past five years," said Anita.
performance divided into traditional and contemporary sections is what
she refers to as, "Two worlds united by one thread. Joined by the umbilical
cord of the Mother Goddess."