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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Seventh heaven

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 04, 2012
First Published: 14:37 IST(4/10/2012) | Last Updated: 17:35 IST(4/10/2012)

India is home to many classical dance forms. And enthusiasts in the city can enjoy seven of them on a single stage this month. The NCPA Centre for the Promotion of Arts and Culture Trust (CPAC), is hosting a 10-day Nakshatra Dance Festival 2012, which will see a slew of performances of dance forms like Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Manipuri.

The festival commences today, with a workshop series called the Joy of Movement, which will introduce attendees to classical dances and include a special prelude performance on each. Participants will get to try out the steps, learn the mudras and the history of each dance style too.

Eminent names like Raja Radha Reddy, Kumudini Lakhia, Madhavi Mudgal, Mandakini Trivedi, Kalamandalam Piyal and Alarmel Valli will perform at the festival. It will also present a special prelude recital by Shyamjith Kiran, Viraja Mhandre and Anuj Mishra.

Manipuri
origin: Manipur
What: It is based on lord Krishna’s life. Hand movements don’t go beyond the forehead and below the waist, the eyes always follow the hands.
The Workshop covers: “There are two basic styles: lasya (feminine) and tandav (masculine). I will try to explain the background and basic characteristics of both,” says instructor Latasana Devi.

Odissi
origin: Odisha
What: The dance’s resemblance to Indian sculpture is what differentiates it from other forms. The isolated torso movements work in opposition to the neck and upper limbs.
The Workshop covers: “One can understand how Odissi was re-constructed from sculpture and allied dance forms of Orissa with a slide presentation,” says instructor Priya Singh.

Kathak
origin: Lucknow
What: It used to be a temple dance form. It underwent changes after the Mughal invasion, and chakkars (pirouettes) and footwork were introduced. The dance has standing postures unlike other
classical forms.
The Workshop covers: “We’ll give non-dancers a perspective on watching a performance. We’ll also make them try out mudras and steps,” instructor Pooja Pant.

Kuchipudi
origin: Andhra Pradesh
What: The movements are quick, scintillating, rounded and fleet-footed.
The Workshop covers: “I’ll be talking about tarangam, a unique step when the dancer dances on the edges of a brass plate. It will help lay spectators relate to the performance,” says instructor Amrita Lahiri.

Kathakali
origin: Kerala
What: ‘Katha’ means story and ‘kali’ means enacting it in stylised fashion.
The Workshop covers: “I will teach churippu (basic Kathakali body movement), four types of footwork based on the trisra, chaturasra tala (a special rhythm pattern) and hastamudras (hand postures),” says instructor Kalamandalam Piyal.

Bharatanatyam
origin: 
Tamil Nadu
What: A culmination of three components: bhaav (feelings), raag (melody) and taal (rhythm). Abhinaya (expression) too is an essential component. 

The Workshop covers: “Participants will be given an insight into the mudras and steps,” says instructor Mandeera Tracy Chaudhari.

Mohiniattam
origin: 
Kerala
What: Besides the all-white costume, it is the swinging, swaying and circulatory movements, technically called andolita that characterise Mohiniattam.
The Workshop covers: “Unlike its virile sibling form, Kathakali, Mohiniattam is gentle, sensuous and enchanting,” says Mandakini Trivedi. “We will explain its history, mudras and facial expressions.
The workshops are from October 4 to 10 at the Sea View room, NCPA from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
Call 9869112010 for details. Nakshatra performances are from October 11 to 14 from 7 pm onwards.


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