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Oneness Through Shivanubhuti

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
By Vijay Shanker

An absorbing choreography with a message of oneness through Bharata Natyam was presented by the renowned exponent, teacher, choreographer, curator Kalashri Lata Surendra who is the Section President of the official section of the International Dance Council- affiliated with Secretariat Athens and Council Headquarters Paris for the Atharotsav festival by Shamal K Pawar at the Mysore association audtorium. It was an in- depth exploring of three aspects of the Lord through Bharata Natyam.

Lata commenced her performance with an abstract creation of Shivalinga in the”Nirgun-sagun” state. Holding the audience’s attention through the intensity of her execution she proceeded to the intangible connect of Shiva and Vishnu through a complex pattern of ten beats etching that made explicit the connect between the ongoing dance of creation and the creator. She skillfully set this in a visual pattern of an Alarippu diversely depicting Shiva and Vishnu and culminating in the unfolding creation of the activity embracing both.

From “Layam” Lata progressed into the state of unity of Shiva and Shakti as the non –dual. “Srishthi” means creation. ”Sthithi” means continuation and “laya” means dissolution.
Each time cycle begins with creation, continues for certain duration of time and then dissolves into nothingness. Time exists when we are in a state of duality but disappears or is eternal when we enter into the state of unity. She brought this to life through the “Ardhanareeswara Stotram” of Adi Sankara describing the form of Shiva that encompasses the feminine and masculine aspects of the divine in unity. Shiva-Shakti is the cause of all activity in creation around in his all-pervasive oneness.

Realizing Shiva is to seek his benediction. Lata described this through the descent of the sacred river Ganga on earth. Lata's depiction of the flow of the sacred river with sinuous grace and ease at the same time retaining the syntax of Bharata Natyam, mirrored not only her awareness of the dance idiom, but also, as to how necessary it is for any performer to go deep into any chosen theme to elevate it to an absorbing experience for the rasikas. Skillful “Sancharis” had Lata describe the reluctance and rage of the sacred river in having to leave the cradling heavens, to allay the heat ensuing from the meditation of Bhageeratha. The performance concluded with Shivanubhuthi through the composition “Maitrim bhajata”’ urging humanity to awaken to “Shivanubhuti” and to cultivate friendship and humility, which alone could awaken hearts to the binding oneness ever so vital today in a world of breaking news.

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