WHAT a show of graceful flui-dity, exuberant and synchronised footwork, coupled with well-defined joyful facial expressions!
This choreography by the six students of the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) recently brought out the essence of deity worship, devotion and philosophy of Hinduism.
The show – Shanmatham: The Six Paths of Devotion held at the TFA grounds in Babington Avenue, showcased the myriad manifestations of the main Hindu gods – Ganesha, Subrahmanya, Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Surya from the philosophical, emotional and spiritual perspectives in the dance form of Bharata Natyam.
The six dancers – Hema Siva-nesan, Mayuri Rathakrishnan, Pankhuri Agrawal, Sakthi Sega-ran, Madangopal Narayanan and Muthukumaran Pa-ranjothy, paced rhythmically with the echoing ank-lets as they gracefully performed each dance sequence which revealed how the deities were individually worshipped.
The opening dance, Ganapath-yam, that was in honour of Lord Ganesha, the first among the Hindu deities, and the following dance Kaumaram about the hand-some and ever youthful Lord Muruga, were indeed symbolic, inspiring and highly traditional.
The next performance Vaishnavam that was the longest presentation among the six dances was in the form of a dance drama rela-ting the storyline of Ramayana.
Expressions depicting the diverse emotional journey taken by the characters of Rama, his brother Lakshmanan, Sita and the monkey-god Hanuman were the highlights of the performance.
It was an amalgamation of poetry, music and dance in motion during the performance, which de-served a rousing appreciation from the audience.
Madangopal and Muthukuma-ran next came on stage to perform Shaivam in praise of the god Shiva.
Difficult foot se-quences and stylised decorative hand gestures displaying the cosmic creation in the form of Divine Mother – Shakti – were staged during the Shaktam dance performance.
The three female dancers splendidly portrayed the multi-faceted Shakti as the ferocious goddess Kali who kills demons of lust; goddess Lakshmi who confers blessings of prosperity; goddess Saraswathi who bestows know-ledge and wisdom; and finally as a darling little girl.
The final presentation of Sauryam reflecting the ancient worship of the Sun god danced to the Thillana rhythm encompassed among others the display of the woven images of the sun, the Sun god’s chariot of seven horses and the harvest festival of Ponggal.
It was a befitting finale for the whole dance presentation as it reflected the divine culmination of a prayer for health, wealth and wisdom for all.
Shankar Kandasamy and Vasuki Sivanesan choreographed the show.