Written by Anoushka Gahilot
A Kathak ballet on the importance of nature and its conservation will be performed in the city on June 22. This will be the first performance of the ballet, Srushti, after a hiatus of 10 years. The ballet has been choreographed by Rochit Kathak Dance Akademi’s Roshan Datye.
Datye said the seeds of this ballet took root while she was researching ancient and medieval Indian culture and classical art. During her research, she visited at least 18 temples in north India and observed the Shalabhanjika sculpture — of a woman holding a tree branch denoting the significance of forests. She said this sculpture was present at the entrance of almost all temples she visited. Her experience led her to understand that culture and traditional philosophy recognise the importance of nature and its conservation, and she decided to incorporate these elements into her Kathak choreography.
“In our day-to-day lives, we fail to understand the importance of nature, leading to environmental threats at a global level. It is something that even the common person can relate to and we wish to express these concerns through the effective medium of dance and music, so that the message is conveyed to many people. This is a unique concept that is different from the traditional pieces of the classical dance form,” said Datye.
The ballet Srushti is a one-and-a-half-hour-long audio-visual presentation with at least 20 dancers. It was first presented in 25 shows across the country 10 years ago and is being revived again as part of the Akademi’s 40th anniversary.
Beginning with the concepts of nature as depicted in the Vedas and ancient literature on nature, the ballet moves into modern issues like pollution, population explosion, deforestation and water conservation — their consequences and solutions.
Along with enthralling compositions like Hori and Kajri that are celebrations of the seasons and flavours of various ragas, the ballet also depicts aspects of the Chipko and Bhakti movements.
The presentation makes use of classical, semi-classical and semi-folk music along with technical dance pieces and footwork interwoven together with shlokas, bhajans and taranas. The music is composed by Ajay Parad, a harmonium player, and produced by Anagha Ghaisas.
Yogesh Gogawle, president of BJP Pune, will attend the event. It will be held a Annabhau Sathe Sabhagruha.