Bharatanatyam Solos by Four: Chennai festival

The ARTery & Suryakala Foundation is hosting EKAM – A Festival of Bharatanatyam Solos on August 25th & 26th 2018 at SPACES in Besant Nagar, Chennai

Ramanathan Iyer, the promoter of ARTery in Chennai says this is a  'one of its kind Bharatanatyam festival presenting high quality creative dance that is meaningful, thought provoking and relevant.'

Ramanathan explains the idea behind the festival and the artistes featured at this festival,  in a note published below.
Today’s Bharatanatyam: The Urgent need for creative avenues

Bharatanatyam is a complex art form that requires a high level of mastery and understanding for a dancer to put on a quality performance. It is not sufficient to “reproduce” choreography as learnt, but to empower it with a deeper understanding of all the allied arts that make the choreography come alive – poetry, language, literature, mythology, philosophy, music, rhythm.

Bharatanatyam has always been a solo art form - in teaching, practice and performance. However, today there seems to be a trend of using Bharatanatyam as a dance to expose the roots of Indian culture in a modernizing world, rather than an emphasis on mastering it as a truly creative, thinking art form.

The path for a serious, thinking professional, who spends numerous hours researching and creating work of value and substance finds few takers. Much creativity and spontaneity is lost today due to several factors - a major one being the “institutionalization” of dance with a factory line approach.

With audience attention spans diminishing and a faltering ecosystem for creative solo pursuits in Bharatanatyam, truly engaging work is less visible. This festival wishes to address some of these issues by curating and presenting the serious professionals of the art.

We present four of the finest Bharatanatyam soloists with an emphasis on quality, creativity and meaningful art with performances that will set the precedence for generations to follow.

Saturday, August 25th 2018

6.00 pm: NAVIA NATARAJAN explores the  different dimensions of life starting with the Shiv spanda, (movement in stillness) which depicts the paradox of how the nothing becomes everything. The varnam that follows traces the experiences of the All  -the inner goddess energy in man. The descent of the goddess energy into life through the human form is portrayed through  the  episode of a difficult human relationship.

Using the eternal symbol for enlightenment, the lotus, to show how the churning that takes place in the soul cleanses and heals man and helps him ascend ,the dancer leads the audience back to square one- the Transcendent Stillness but with a difference


Sakha encompasses  "A Man's relation to  a friend &  a companion. Anangha Vilasa - In classical Indian literature and mythology, Kamadeva or the god of love remains an enigmatic emblem of sensuous awakening. He is propitiated variously across our land and his glories are sung as part of rituals in festivals of fertility that dot our native almanac.

This composition describes the various attributes of  Kamadeva & as  how  he ignites the  fire of  passion & desire in us with his  magical charm.

Sunday, August 26th 2018

Janaki Rangarajan6.00 pm: JANAKI RANGARAJAN presents UNRAVELLED, a new solo production that explores the unseen layers of the iconic Draupadi. What is it about this woman that has captured the imagination of poets and writers for so many centuries? So much so that she is worshipped as a Goddess - Draupadi Amman.

Through Bharatanatyam and the spoken word in English, UNRAVELLED is a dance-theater production based on a contemporary script that draws inspiration from Vyaasa Mahabharata and folk traditions.

7.30 pm: G. NARENDRA presents Anubhavam, an evening of sharing an artistic journey with focus on Manodharma or the language of the mind and how it plays out in Natyam.

The creative process behind this is the improvisation based on my own reflection and thought, similar to kalpana swaram in a music kutcheri, which is essentially expertise  based on experience.

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