With the Parampara pageant, Hema Rajagopalan returns to the world of Bharatanatyam solos
Just a few years in the past, on a balmy afternoon, sitting within the elegant rehearsal area of her Natya Dance Theatre firm in Chicago, Hema Rajagopalan desperately started to seek for herself among the many many our bodies transferring in unison. “I out of the blue missed the solo dancer as I watched my college students carry out. The pictures of these years after I held the stage alone gripped my thoughts. I started to surprise why I had allowed the impartial dancer to fade at the same time as I used to be exploring the world of group choreography,” she says.
Hema has not been in a position to cease enthusiastic about it since. “I stored creating ensemble items however final 12 months I made a decision to curate a pageant that will hint the trail of the solo artiste and spotlight the fantastic thing about the margam.”
Hema titled it Parampara, as a result of it celebrates the custom of particular person creativity in Indian classical dance. On the pageant, six master-teachers, Ratna Kumar, Ramya Harishankar, Catherine Kunhiraman, Lata Pada, Mythili Kumar and Hema Rajagopalan and their college students discover the Bharatanatyam solo efficiency format, presenting an image of the previous and the way it has developed over time. The primary session of the pageant was held on August 7 and eight. The following session shall be held on August 15 and 16.
Krithika, dancer and daughter og Hema Rajagopalan
“A solo efficiency is just not so simple as it seems; there are numerous features to it. All these are being analysed and interpreted for the modern viewers by performances, workshops and panel discussions,” says Hema, whose dancer-daughter Krithika has co-curated the pageant.
Although it was initially deliberate to be held over a day at an auditorium in Chicago, the pandemic made the mother-daughter duo take to the digital medium.
“We even contemplated suspending, however I did not need to additional delay this dream mission. The senior artistes who function within the pageant too agreed to succeed in out by this new medium. Like we now have accepted adjustments within the artwork, we now have additionally to come back to phrases with this new regular.”
Hema, who moved to North America virtually 45 years in the past, has put collectively a number of collaborative productions. “Marriage introduced me right here. And after I determined to get again to dancing, I quickly understood that organisers, each American and Indian, most well-liked group works over solo performances. The invitation to take part in a pageant was at all times for an organization and barely for a person. Even on the Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam, many of the dance performances are group productions. So I acquired all the way down to choreographing items that might be mounted on an ensemble. This challenged me to view dance in a different way.”
It wasn’t straightforward. It required a rethink of method and to open her eyes to new influences. She needed to mission pure dance as theatre. “I used to be used to a composition from my perspective and visualising it on my physique, however now I needed to think about how a gaggle would share the aesthetics, area and time construction. It was no much less thrilling. And I fortunately embraced this new section.”
She expanded her oeuvre by transferring on to cross-genre productions. “It was a pure development. As you start to work together with individuals with completely different cultural moorings, it displays in your artwork’s narrative. These components broaden the scale of your work and attain it to a bigger viewers.
“The 5 senior Indian Bharatanatyam dancers who’ve lengthy arrange faculties right here have splendidly struck a steadiness by not giving up the values of their roots even whereas adapting to Western sensibilities,” says Hema, who needed to current this amalgam on the pageant with a particular deal with their solo careers.
“They carry to the stage and workshops their coaching within the conventional repertoire, refreshing interpretations and the flexibility to evolve by one’s artwork.”
Based on Hema, it will be significant that millennial dance fans, wherever they’re primarily based, perceive dance first as soloist. “It’s heartening that in India a solo efficiency nonetheless attracts a sizeable crowd. It’s a format that teaches you the right way to personal the stage and be in charge of your strikes and feelings. It enables you to enter the minds of the viewers and keep there,” says Hema.