With her heart set on propagating the classical forms of dance and music,Bharatnatayam dancer Shashikala Ravi is organising the second Amritanjali Festival. It is my bit as an artiste to popularise the arts. Classical dance and music are intricately related,so I am bringing both together, says Ravi,founder director of Amritanjali School of Bharatanatyam.
Indulging the creative senses of Puneites,the festival will feature a Kuchipudi recital,Carnatic vocal recital,a thematic Bharatanatyam act the by students of Amritanjali school,a solo ballet in Mohiniyattam and a ballet of Ramayana,among others. The two-day festival begins today.
I like to bring variety for the audience and pick themes that will be interesting to them. Each act is unique this time, says Ravi. Giving a sneak preview to a thematic performance by her students,Ravi says,They will perform a Bharatanatyam ballet called Save our Earth. The setting is of a forest with animals living in harmony,till man interferes and throws the ecology off balance. Doing the ballet for the first time,Ravi says her students were brilliant.
Performing the Ramayana,Ravi believes,will engage the audience since they are familiar with the story. Dance becomes appealing when its understood. I will also be interacting with the audience in between, says Ravi.
Working with familiarity but challenging popular thought will be Ayswaria Wariars performance of Shakuntala a solo ballet in Mohiniyattam. I tell the story of Shakuntalas emotional state in flashback. It is in fact a statement of womens plight. Even though the story is set many centuries ago,women can identify with it now. Only the parts that are relevant to Shakuntala have been picked up and Dushyant is not redeemed, says the Baroda-based dancer,who recently won the Pravasi Kala Shri award from the government of Kerala.