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Taking Classical Dances To The Grassroots

In today’s world of Spice Girls and Michael Jacksons and the predominance of western culture and lifestyle that influences youth and children, it was startling to witness a programme of Indian classical dances performed by young children in Bandra on October 19. The programme was organised and presented by Sambhava Dance and Theatre Academy.

Reshma Shetty

Sambhava Dance and Theatre Academy is headed by accomplished Bharatanatyam and Odissi exponent and actress Reshma Shetty. Reshma is a powerful dancer, choreographer and a thinking artist. Reshma says “Creating and informing Rasikas and dedicated¬†artiste is the aim of my institute, which is why each and every performance of mine is not a mere presentation, it always leaves the audience appreciating the classical forms in a way that they have never seen before, it shows what exactly is the beauty and science of these classical dances.”

The programme was entitled ‘Kidathaka Dhadhi Gina Thom’- the planet which is inhabited by celestial dancers, as legend has it, hence that is the reason as to why there is peace, love, harmony and divinity, that pervades all arts and life itself. With the commentary by Reshma, students demonstrated as to how classical dance evolved and was created by Lord Brahma as ‘Natya Veda’, further on as to how Lord Shiva became ‘Nataraja’ and the creation of both Tandava and Lasya form of dancing. It was quite thrilling to watch the young dancers demonstrating the varied “mudras”, both single and double hand gestures. the basic movements in both Bharatanatyam and Odissi styles and the display of Alarippu as well.

The highlight of the programme was the demonstration of the usage of the nattuvangam based on varied tala patterns by none other than Guru Kaliswaran Pillai, son the veteran Guru Kadhirvelu Pillai. On the whole, it was an unusual programme of taking classical dances to the grassroots level. Kudos to Sambhava Academy.

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