Six Indian classical dance forms — Mohiniattam, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam and Kathak — were showcased during the opening ceremony of 7th Chandigarh Art and Heritage Festival on Thursday.
Natyam, an amalgamation of the six forms, was conceived and compiled by Raja Radha Reddy.
With a team of musicians and classical singers setting the tone for the performance, each dancer, as part of Natyam presented solo pieces, with the distinct styles of each dance a treat for the eyes and senses.
In the final sequence, Sharon Lowen, Raja and Radha Reddy, Shobha Koser, Singhajit and Charu Sija, Bharati Shivaji, Jayalakshmi Ishwar came together to mesmerise the audience with their interpretation, idioms, aesthetics of classical traditions.
“This is a fine example of unity in diversity. Here you see our glorious traditions of dance and nowhere in the world will you find it. This is our dharambhoomi. Dance and its spirit are one; it’s the regional influences that make each form unique. They all belong to one granth, the Natyashastra and this is a unified forum,’’ said Raja Reddy.
Also, as part of the festival, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi organised a lecture on Indian culture and heritage by
Vishv Nath Prasad Tiwari, the president of National Sahitya Akademi.
“We have so many literary traditions in India, which are so diverse, that it’s really tough to sum this subject in a couple of hours. Multi-cultural and multi-lingual, our oral traditions are also so strong,’’ said Tiwari. Society, values, ethics, Tiwari spoke at length about the philosophy of Gandhi and Vivekananda, in respect to culture and how truth and non-violence are the essentials of our culture. “The self is not our concern, but the entire existence. Our culture is a symbol of wholeness,’’ said Tiwari.
On the second day of the festival on Friday, theatre lovers can look forward to Vivekananda, a play in Hindi by Shekhar Sen, which depicts the making of the rebel saint, who changed the history with his vision and work. This play unfolds the history with his childhood, eagerness to find God and meeting mentor Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
Watch the making of Swami Vivekananda, melodiously woven in 32-song sequences.
Also open to the public is a three-day painting and sculpture workshop by senior and young artists of the Tricity at the Capitol Complex.