Uma Leela 
Text & pics: Pandithar Sivakumar Perumal, Pune 

November 21, 2006  

It was a rainy evening on Thursday September 14th as I made my way towards Pune's Tilak Smarak Mandir to see dance drama Uma Leela. It was heartening to see a good attendance, despite the weather.  

Bharatanatyam dancer Sayali Khare has conceptualized and choreographed Uma Leela. Sayali ably portrayed the character of Uma. Anuj Mishra as lord Shiva was at his classical best. He swirled and danced straight into our hearts. Anuj was really one of the most energetic Shivas I have witnessed. 
The tandava of Shiva naturally brings out the best in a dancer, and Anuj was a perfect example of this. His tandava was of striking beauty and he dazzled every one in orange. As Uma and Shiva, Sayali and Anuj danced into a magnificently synchronized duet. Layabadh nritya by the duo was a remarkable coming together of the two forms of Bharatanatyam and Kathak. The uniqueness of Uma Leela was the blending of these two distinct forms.   
The change in the backdrop and the consequent change in the music was another remarkable feature of Uma Leela. It gave ample opportunity to portray the minute detailed working of the artistsí imagination. The flow of the story was smooth, the dance steps were crisp. Uma Leela showcased the artistry of the dancers; each artiste bloomed in the solo; together they were strikingly beautiful.  

The supporting cast and those working behind the scenes of this dance drama made the group an enormously talented team of artists. Uma Leela ended with another beautiful synchronized item by the artists. 

Sivakumar has a passion for the arts and is a freelance writer. He is a collector of dance related news clippings.