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Sculptures come alive in 'Shila'

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
By Vijay Shanker

One of the leading dance academies of Thane, Nrityanjli, celebrated their silver jubilee, twenty-five years of their fruitful existence with the presentation of 'Shila',  a Bharatanatyam dance presentation portraying the significance of the sculptures, temple architecture, culture and its relation to Indian classical dances. The programme was held at Kashinath Ghanekar auditorium in Thane.

Nrityanjli is headed by accomplished Bharatanatyam exponent, Guru Lata Rajesh, who over the years has presented several students and performed in varied prestigious organisations all over India and abroad too. Lata has also several dance choreographies to her credit.

With their elaborate superfluities and wonderful architecture, Indian monuments represent one of the most outstanding facets of the multi-faceted Indian culture. They serve as testimonies of man's greatness and establish a dialogue between civilisations showing the extent to which human beings are linked.

Shila – eternal marvels of story telling, traces a journey of art, architecture, sculpture and civilisation through Bharatanatyam. Shila attempts to show how the Kailasanatha temple at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakkal in Karnataka and Kailasa temple in Ellora, Maharashtra, are similar in architectural style though built by different dynasties during different eras and geographically apart.

Visual imageries of the circumbulatory passage at Kailasanatha temple at Kancheepuram, Nandi Mandapa, Garbhagriha at the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakkal, carving and highlights of Kailasa temple at Ellora and elaboration of the sculptural depictions on the outer walls of these temples, namely the Lingodbhava, Kalyanasundareswarar and  Ardhanarishwara are the highlights of this production. Performed by Guru Lata Rajesh and her disciples, it was interesting to watch as to how the sculptures come alive in the dance format, dancing to the traditional compositions

Concept, research and choreography by Guru Lata Rajesh with research assistance by Aishwarya Devasthali, excellent music composition and compilation by Satish Krishnamurthy and Vadya Vrinda consisting of mridangam and konakkol by Satish Krishnamurthy, vocal by Karthik Hebbar (Bengalore) and Manoj Desai, flute by  Raghavendra Baliga, veena by Saipriya Vishwanathan, tabla by Raghuveer Baliga and Ghatam and Kanjira by Arjun Ezhumalai.

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