Sunday 8 November 2015

Seen and Heard by Lakshmi Vishwanathan - Vintage Varnams re-visited

I was invited along with other senior dancers to present traditional Varnams as part of the Spanda anniversary in July 2105 in Chennai, curated by Leela Samson.... (What an idea ! Her FB page had numerous compliments). It was an event to highlight the core ideas of the traditional Varnam, particularly those of the Tanjore Quartet. I understood what she meant when she announced it was a seminar. So, one had to speak? Share one’s understanding of this magnificent piece in the Bharatanatyam repertoire? Yes indeed. When Leela came over to invite me to participate in the event, rather spontaneously I said I will take up Dhanike in Todi and Viriboni in Bhairavi. I never think before jumping into such things....quite like when I agreed to write a book on M.S. when the editor at Roli Books asked me. A few days on....the thinking (worrying!) starts. To dance on stage, even if it were just excerpts from a big Varnam, one has to concentrate on multiple aspects. Well, I worked on the Varnams like a jigsaw puzzle and it all came to a crescendo on stage! An appreciative and knowledgeable audience.... getting rare... was inspirational. 

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