At a time when Mumbai is submerged in the creativity of music, the NCPA Centre for the Promotion of Arts and Culture Trust (CPAC) brings us the Nakshatra Dance Festival. In its fourth year, the festival is showcasing classical dance traditions across India that have continually evolved with time. From Mohiniattam to Kathakali, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Bharatanatyam, the stage is set for these performances from October 11. The dance forms will be presented by renowned performers such as Raja Radha Reddy, Kumudini Lakhia, Madhavi Mudgal, Mandakini Trivedi, Kalamandalam Piyal and Alarmel Valli.
A special workshop has been organised on the seven Indian classical dance forms along with a choreography master class. Also, a special prelude was performed by Shyamjith Kiran, Viraja Mhandre and Anuj Mishra on October 4. “I performed the Krishnayana, which speaks of the leelas of Lord Krishna. I also performed some very special compositions from the Lucknow gharanas. For me, it’s ‘K’ for Krishna and Kathak!,” says Anuj, Kathak dancer, who received a standing ovation for his performance with his sister.
Talking about the audience, Alarmel, Bharatnatyam dancer, says, “My association with the NCPA goes way back. Over the decades, they have seen me evolve as an artist and I too have seen it grow. Some of my major productions were premiered there. I feel that since I first danced there, Mumbai has become much more dance friendly than it used to be.” She also throws light on her performance set for October 14. “For Nakshatra, I will be presenting ‘Scent of the Earth’ — a celebration, through the Bharatanatyam margam, of different moods and colours of nature.
Over the years, thematic presentations of Bharatanatyam have become more popular and the margam has lost ground. Also, with globalisation and the advent of DVD gurus in dance, the focus tends to be on increasing sensationalism. I will present a margam, incorporating some of the nuances and subtexts of dance that touch me the most. This performance, I hope will be as much a celebration of the poetry of word, melody and movement, as of nature.”