Wednesday 23 May 2018

Dancing on rivers - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Dance built round rivers and also numbers has claimed audience attention lately in the performance scene in the capital. River as a theme, down the ages has inspired poets, writers, painters, musicians and even philosophers. The rivers of India have nurtured cultures, while their unpredictability has also caused destruction from time to time. A dance enthusiast, Churchill Pandian’s latest favourite concept is what he calls Connecting Rivers Through Dance. If rivers flowing through areas causing endless political friction today could so easily be made to change track through dance to foster unity, life would indeed be easy! Ganga to Kaveri presented at Habitat Centre’s Stein auditorium, was however based more on myth with research work by Chitra Madhavan and Praveen Rao of Bengaluru providing the music. The producer’s earlier efforts with this theme, featuring individual groups representing different dance forms working out their own music, had met with patchy results. So he now came to the capital armed with the music. The theme with the top names of Delhi dancers associated with the presentation certainly drew a large audience – many enthusiastic hopeful viewers having to be turned away thanks to the packed Stein auditorium. The performer groups, only worked at the choreography - though one would have thought that the days of dancing to ‘Churchill’s tunes’ as it was humorously  said, were well and truly  over!

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