Quake-hit Gujarat theme for Mallika Sarabhai’s ‘Tandav’

United News of India
April 2, 2001

NEW DELHI, Apr 2 (UNI) A glimpse of the destruction that ravaged Gujarat was captured in Mallika Sarabhai’s Bharatnatyam recital “Shiva Shakti Vandana” here last evening.

Denoting various moods of Shiva and Shakti, the danseuse along with her troupe from Darpana Academy captivated the audience during the dance ballet organised by Osho World Foundation, which among others included prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Reminding one of the horrifying images of the killer quake, the ‘Tandav Nritya’ was brilliant in depicting the pain and the misery that comes along with destruction and ended on a positive note with a dream for a better tomorrow.

Adapted from the poems written by her mother Mrinalini Sarabhai, the ‘Nataraj Vandana’ explored the different movements and moods of Shiva and Shakti-Ma Kali in areas other than the one commonly seen in this classical dance with an human angle.

Bringing an incredible application of energy, Mallika’s performance was an amazing blend of classical and contemporary dance with excellent choreography, unique style and brisk pace making it a treat to the eyes.

The classical dance dwelling in six phases, started innovatively with “Navasandikautam” a prayer to nine different gods, graced through “Anandakuthadivam” dance of Shiva in joy, and devoted to “Jagajanani” Parvati seeking blessings from the Devi.

The ‘Tandav’ came into effect with ‘Sambojaya’ denoting the angry moods of Shiva which was powerfully depicted by the danseuse with brisk pace and amazing control. The piece ‘Roopamguchi’ dwelt on the beautiful form of lord Shiva. The dance ended with ‘Tillana’ with brisk foot movements and sculptural postures.

The next item ‘Balkanika 2’ was an innovative dance on the people in Balkans shattered by wars and natural calamities. It highlighted the plight of the women and how they coped with different situations and the struggle against war and violence.

Directed by Suncica Milosavljic from Yugoislavia the dance item was performed by seven artistes of the Darpan Academy.

Presenting a bronze sculpture to Mallika Sarabhai, prime minister A B Vajpayee said that along with the audience he felt enchanted by the performance and praised the artiste for connecting dance with a noble cause, that of raising funds for Gujarat.

Drawing a similarity between the Kargil war and the devastation in Gujarat, Mr Vajpayee said the people of the country had rallied behind the government at war and now with those severely affected by the killer quake.

“Rain is knocking at the door, and before it plays havoc with the lives of the quake survivors who are staying in tents and other places, the task is to rehabilitate them as quickly as possible,” Mr Vajpayee said.

Expressing his apprehension that the worldwide concern for the quake victims would recede with the passage of time, Mr Vajpayee said the bigger challenge of rebuilding the homes and lives of the affected confronts all of us now. Actor and Member of Parliament Vinod Khanna said the aim of the Foundation and such programme was to see happy faces in Gujarat once again. “One seed can make the whole world green, it is time to realise the dream and this could begin from Gujarat,” he added.

Taking a dig at contemporary politics, noted humorist and poet Surendra Sharma recited some of his poems which focussed on the irony of life and degradation of values in politics.

Talking to UNI, Sarabhai said her performance was a mix of classical and contemporary dance highlighting on the forces of nature playing havoc with mother earth. “Man has no control over the forces of nature and it is only God, the Shakti, who could come to his rescue,” she added.

Sarabhai said the villagers needed support, love and affection from the people of the country. “The government along with the NGOs should try to rehabiltate the quake affected people in Gujarat and also help them stand on their own by providing them employment opportunities. The villagers could be provided with handicrafts, and looms and agricultural equipments,” she added.

Suncica said there was a similarity in the condition of people in the Balkans with quake affected people in gujarat, especially women who are battling hard against the forces of nature along with the war.

“The dance item talks about time, heritage, spiritual identity and the danger of devastation with the ultimate question asked whether mankind can overcome this battle,” she added.

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