Nritta, Nritya, Natyam

By Saru Rana
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Amazing India was a cultural coup of Indian classical dance performances from the Kalalaya School of Indian Performing Arts Adelaide

Adelaide got a chance to satiate its cultural appetite with a two hour classical dance performance of Bharatnatayam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Kathak and Bollywood organised by Priya Ramesh and Ramesh Menon of the Kalalaya School of Indian Performing Arts and supported by The Festival Center, Adelaide.

“We always want to bring different dance forms on a single platform. This is an annual show to promote classical dance forms open to all. People say South Australia is a cultural hub and a state of festivals, and we want to continue it, in Adelaide in the years to come” — Priya Ramesh

Ancient Indian classical dances, which have withstood the test of time while developing into a highly stylised form depicted the true ‘Amazing India’ to both eyes and soul. The audience witnessed the human body and its basic emotions and the need to express them—while using the body as an instrument—binding it into a homogenous, ever evolving and timeless language. The incredible beauty of the Indian classical arts performed by various ages and talented groups of musicians, dancers, and vocalists from the Kalalaya School of Indian Performing Arts, was a mind-blowing presentation of ancient and recreated dance pieces of the classical dance tradition using both abstract or nritta part of dance to fill out the space and the musical overtones to give it visual structure.

“There are schools and organisation that promote other Indian dance forms but there wasn’t an institute for Indian classical dance when Kalalya was started,” says Ramesh. “Nritya means dance and ‘priya’ means lover, so ours is an institute/school to present classical traditional Indian dance,” adds Priya.

“We always want to bring different dance forms on a single platform. This is an annual show to promote classical dance forms open to all. People say South Australia is a cultural hub and a state of festivals, and we want to continue it, in Adelaide in the years to come,” says Ramesh.

The synchronisaton, symphony and the coordination among all groups were like no other. All troupes presented dance performances with modern instruments, though it had the flavour of traditional instruments such as the nagara, mandira and khartal.

The power-packed performances, with astounding ease, elegance and grace in actions, facial expressions and hand gestures depicting expressive drama-dance form, were offered to the audience with a representative of the season and in honour of Lord Krishna, Radha and Gopis. The viewers were awestruck by the pure movements, emphasising the beauty in motion, form, speed, range and pattern as well as the stage-setting, costume, make-up, a and jewelry. Performers gestures and facial expressions conveyed the ras (sentiment, emotional taste) and bhava (mood) of the underlying story.

Looking forward to more such performances of Nritta, Nritya and Natyam from Kalalaya School of Indian Performing Arts.

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