Traditional Indian dance is often regarded as a rich cultural treasure that our country is fast losing out on. But thanks to the many dance festivals in the Capital, there is a renewed interest among youngsters in the classic dance forms. This facet can also be seen in the 10th edition of the Ananya Dance Festival, where a number of new and young artists are performing at the Purana Quila.
“This year, the focus for Ananya is to get younger and newer faces to the festival,” says Sanjeev Bhargava, the festival director. “We also feel that culture needs to be repackaged innovatively or else there is a danger that most of it would be declared intangible heritage shortly,” he adds.
Organised by Seher in association with the Delhi Government, the five day long dance festival, which sees the best of dance talent from different parts of India performing in the Capital, kicked off yesterday.
The first day saw an Odissi dance performance by Aruna Mohanty and her troupe. Trained in the abhinaya aspect of Odissi, Mohanty presented a Gatha performance. Today, the festival will see a Kuchipudi Dance recital by Vyjayanthi Kashi, whose concept of choreography is highly theatrical and experimental. Other performances lined up for the festival are Kathak by Vaswati Misra, Bharatanatyam by Priya Venkataraman and Sannidhi, an amalgamation of seven classical dance forms Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Kathakali by Parwati Dutta.
“The choreography in Sannidhi represents the seven sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Kaveri, Narmada, Sindhu, which symbolically represent the seven Indian classical dances,” says Dutta. “A tradition is often metaphorically correlated with a river that flows with time and nourishes mankind. Similarly, our dance heritage has evolved over the centuries and is intrinsic to our cultural consciousness,” she adds.
“One of the biggest achievements of this festival is the venue,” says Bhargava. “Where else would you find space for an audience consisting of more than 2,800 people? The festival has cultivated an audience that looks forward to it,” he adds.
Sunday, 2 October
Kuchipudi: Vyjayanthi Kashi and Shambhavi Dance Ensemble (Bangalore)
Monday, 3 October
Kathak: Vaswati Misra and Dhwani group (Delhi)
Tuesday, 4 October
Bharatanatyam: Priya Venkataraman and group (Delhi)
Wednesday, 5 October
Amalgamation of classical
dance styles: Parwati Dutta
and group (Aurangabad)
Catch them live
What: Ananya Dance Festival 2011
When: October 1 - October 5
Time: 7pm onwards
Where: Purana Quila, Mathura Road
Nearest metro station: Pragati Maidan on the Blue line