Bhavam Nrityalaya, a Bharatanatyam Dance Academy run by sisters Anitha Rajagopalan and Deepa Bharath in Bangalore & Hyderabad respectively, has completed 7 years since its inception in 2012. It is here that it would stage for the first time, ‘Natyarambha – Origin of Dance’ as a thematic dance production. The key purpose of this production is to narrate the story of how this beautiful Indian Classical Dance form of Bharatanatyam came into existence.
The production will leverage Sanskrit shlokas and excerpts from Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana set to music to create a captivating sequence of incidents that help students and audience grasp why this dance form should be celebrated and preserved in all its glory.
As practitioners and learners of the Bharatanatyam art form and to holistically understand the art form, it is important and essential to know about the history and origin of the form and learn the theoretical aspects as part of the curriculum. In fact, it is not only important but also fascinating to learn about its roots and origin.
Natyaramba, the Origin of Dance is a thematic production which is a humble attempt towards this and has also been a learning exercise for the students of the Bhavam Nrityalaya and to those who have been part of the production.
“In this creative journey of producing Natyaramba, we realised that there is an ocean of vast knowledge lying around for those who want to explore this deeper. As specialized and structured as any field of science, technology or other arts that you could imagine, there has been lots of research done and numerous contribution made to this field of performing arts and in specific around the treatise of Natyashastra by many scholars and stalwarts which continues to enrich one’s knowledge and understanding of Indian Classical Art forms”, says Anitha.
It is quite interesting to note that Dr. Padma Subramanian, who has played an important role in recent times in decoding Natyashastra has found about 50 karanas(transitional movements in Classical Dance) in the world-renowned monument Prambanan temple in Indonesia which clearly indicates that Natyasastra was the basic reference text for not only Indian dance forms but also the dance/drama forms outside India spanning the Eurasian countries which is referenced as Jambudweepa in the Natyasastra text.
The early introduction to Dance theory during their learning with Guru Smt. Bhavani Anantharaman, along with the exposure to Natyashastra she received at Nrityagram, sparked the curiosity in Anitha Rajagopalan, to produce Natyaramba. Natyaramba tells the story of why and how Natyam came into being and how it propagated from Brahma, who is the creator to Bharata Muni and his sons. The reference text for this production has been Natyasastra as well as Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikeshwara.
Natyasastra covers vast information right from the origin of Natya description of the arangam or playhouse, sentiments/rasas, bhavas, how to use your major/minor limbs i.e. gestures, movements of your eyes, neck, hips and other parts, the walks, rules on how to use the languages and in fact even the musicality. In this production, we trace the Origin of Natya and specific theoretical aspects like gestures (Nritta hastas), the usage of the gestures through the Pataka Hastha Viniyoga, the head movements (Shirobedas) and the enactment of the first play in presence of Lord Brahma and all the Gods.
The Sanskrit Verses have been set to original music by Sri Ram and interspersed with interesting Jathi sequences set by V. R. Chandrashekar. Natyarambha will be staged to live music with an ensemble orchestra and in the presence of renowned and respected Vidwans of Music and Dance.
Come, encourage and bless the young dancers of Bhavam Nrityalaya in this endeavour!
‘Natyarambha – Origin of Dance’
- Date : 13 January 2019, Time: 10 am
- Venue: Auditorium, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Electronic City Phase 1, Bangalore – 560100
All are Welcome!
- Concept and Choreography: Smt.Anitha Rajagopalan
- Music: Shri. Sriram and Smt. G.V. Swetha
- Jathis: Vidwan. Shri. V.R. Chandrashekhar
- Master of Ceremonies: Smt. Deepa Bharath and Smt. Janani Venkataraman
- Photo: Sreevalsam Gopinath
- Video: Ramesh
- Costumes: Bharatavarsha Costumes and ‘Threads in Style’,
- Theme Decor: Malathi Rajagopalan, Komals Creations
Guests of Honor:
- Sangeetha Kalarathna Vid. Shri. S. Shankar
- Guru Smt. Bhavani Anantharaman (Artistic Director, Bhavanis Prasannalaya)
- Vid. Smt. Aranya Narain (Renowned Bharatanatyam Dancer, Heads Flute and Feet Academy)
- Nattuvangam: Smt. Anitha Rajagopalan and Smt. Deepa Bharath
- Vocal: Vid. Shri. Sri Ram
- Mridangam: Vid. Shri. V.R. Chandrashekhar
- Flute: Vid. Shri. Vivek Krishna
- Violin: Vid. Shri. C. Madhusudhan
Read the review: Bhavam Nrityalaya’s impressive thematic production “Natyarambha”