Daksha Sheth has earned a reputation for experimenting with Indian dance forms and working with a range of movements and styles, from Kathak to Mayurbhanj Chhau and Kalaripayattu, among others.
A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Daksha’s productions showcase an amalgamation of traditional forms and aerial movements.
Shiv Shakti, Sheth’s latest production, features her daughter Isha Sharvani as the lead performer, along with other dancers from her dance company. The production is based on the idea that the universe, in all its diversity, arises from the union of principles that embody masculinity and feminity.
“Shiv Shakti sounds ancient, but the work is very contemporary. It relates to the Tantric philosophy, where Shiva represents the male and Shakti, the female. The performance will manifest the journey of human energy,” says Sheth.
The music for the performance is composed by Daksha’s husband, Devissaro, an Australian-born musician trained in classical piano and Hindustani flute.
The dance will also feature Pung Cholom drummers from Manipur. Pung Cholom is a traditional dance form from the state, characterised by graceful and acrobatic movements. The dancers play the pung (a hand-beaten drum) while they perform.
“We’ve spent more than two years to come up with Shiv Shakti and we brought the Pung Cholom drummers to be part of our production. They’ll be seen performing special movements and music patterns. Their performance will be very different from what they usually do,” says Sheth.