Friday 14 February 2020

Music of the Spheres - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

It is not often that our classical dancers leave their beaten paths and refrain from executing the set routine of their forms but, rather, turn within and listen to their innermost hearts. This is akin to harking back to the ancient Greek notion - prevalent till the Renaissance --- that Sun, Moon and planets all emit their own unique celestial music physically inaudible to the human ear but, nonetheless, perceived by the sensitive soul. Is not the yearning for this ineffable Harmony of the Spheres echoed by PB Shelley while closing his 1821 ode to immanent love: The desire of the moth for the star / The night for the morrow / The devotion to something afar / From the sphere of our sorrow...?

Katha Angika presented on January 28 by Nandanik Movement of Arts attempted to turn on the above idea, namely, persuading a few seasoned classical dancers to listen to their inner calling. Nandanik is a collaborative venture between leading classical dancers and theatre practitioners, and explores annually such new themes, structures and forms in dance and theatre through the medium of story-telling and other means. As they elaborate, "Dance for us, is not just a series of movements which covers space with time aesthetically, it also has the power to connect mind with soul, connect a performer to a spectator without any restriction of language. Rasikas realise Katha with Angika through the dance presentation which make them a part of the performance and not mere spectators. Using the medium of dance as communication, we come together, to celebrate the festival - Katha Angika".

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