Shambhavi School of Dance (Bangalore) presented the 8th edition of Dance Jathre, one of its kind dance fairs at Shankara Foundation premises in Bangalore for two days from 26th to 27th January. Organised by renowned Kuchipudi exponent Vyjayanthi Kashi and her team with support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Government of Karnataka.
This unique and unusual festival is organised every once in two years and is one of the most popular festivals of the country as artists look forward to this festival as it encourages a lot of interactions with other performing artists in varied disciplines like classical, folk, contemporary and modern dance styles. Under the same platform, you could find stalls for jewellery, costume, make-up, music cassettes and books related to dance and music. Dancescapes was an interesting exhibition of dance photographs by talented photographer Madhusudan S Menon. Students of dance were busy participating in dance competitions in both solo and group category.
The workshops sessions started with Padmashree Geeta Chandran explaining and demonstrating the significance of warming up exercises and the varied usage of the “adavus” in the Bharata Natyam style. The workshops were for one hour and a lot of interactions with students were encouraged with participation and asking questions.
Brilliant Kathak exponent from Lucknow Anuj Mishra taught the basic movements in the Kathak style along with hand movements, He was consistently maintaining the counts as two male students of his, demonstrated the movements simultaneously, as it was quite interesting for the students as most of them were doing it for the first time. Anuj was insisting that you smile while dancing, that would make you look more beautiful.
It was surprising to watch folk dance exponent Bhumi Thakkar dancing with a lot of vivaciousness, in spite of being quite stout. The students were thrilled to see her dance with a lot of energy and vitality. Bharata Natyam exponent Trupti Bhupen explained that folk dances can be described as regional dance as it symbolises the culture and tradition of the particular community… Besides Garba and Dandiya, Bhumi also conducted a workshop on Kalbeliya folk dance, performed by snake charmers and tribals hence it is rustic and vibrant in its style of execution.
Mayuri Upadhyaya explained the significance on the art of choreography, wherein it is essential for the choreographer to have knowledge of the particular dance form or forms and as to how dance can be moulded according to the requirement of the theme and music. While Vijay Madhavan spoke about Natyagraphy, Ileana Citaristi spoke about movement in space with particular reference to Chhau dance.
The second day workshops started with Priti Patel from Kolkatta in the Manipuri style, Priti taught the basic Manipuri steps and spoke about religious rituals and Vaishnavism in Manipuri dance Fitness through Sastra by Jayashree Rajagopalan featured various bodily exercises of “angas” and “upaangas” and the significance of Pranayam (breathing exercises) which is very important for every dancer. In “Magic of Movements”
Devesh Mirchandani demonstrated movements from the popular Ghumar dance from Rajasthan, Devesh gracefully and precisely danced thrilling all the participants. While Poornima Gururaja spoke the Metaphor in dance, Lata Surendra explained the significance of rhythm in dance and as to how varied talas like Adhi tala can be performed in a time cycle of 32 beats and as how the teacher should choreograph according to the ability of the student Flow Into Movements by Adrienne Izsepi from Hungary spoke with different perspective according to her experience as a dancer.
The evening performance commenced with Odissi performance by Sharmila Mukerjee and her talented students. While “Visarini” exposed typical characteristic bodily movements in the Odissi style, Grishma Geetam, based on Kalidas “Ritusamhara” exposed dramatic influence of Surya and summer on man and nature and the moon that is soothing. The performance was elegant and sparkling.
Geeta Chandran and her Natya Vruksha Dance Co. performed ‘Anekanta” that exposes multiple realities of the form and the formless based on the Jaina philosophy. The dancers performed precisely with amazing uniformity in varied geometrical patterns.
Anuj Mishra and his team performed kathak with precise and commendable movements and footwork. “Tere Ishq Mein” mesmerised the audience with circular and powerful movements pertaining to Sufi Kathak, reaching out to the Almighty. Vyjayanthi Kashi and dancers from Shambavi performed a number based on Lord Krishna, wicked king Kamsa and death of Poothana with a dramatic and powerful performance by Vyjayanti Kashi and her talented team. Pratiksha Kashi as Rani Rudramadevi of Kakatiya dynasty who fought the battle bravely and typical movements of galloping horse left a lasting impression on the audience, due to powerful performance.
The festival concluded with Manipuri by Priti Patel who incorporated the significance of Agni through “tungta” martial art and fire dances, where male dancers danced with swords and spears and the balancing and circular and acrobatic feats of the dancers cast a spell on the audience.