Dance Show of Bharata Natyam
September 18th, 2016
For the NAMBIKKAY association start of year show, Lakshmi and Isabelle transported us to Tamil Nadu, through a performance of Bharata Natyam dance, the sacred dance of South India!
Its tradition is based in the Hindu religion: the devadasis were sacred dancers who lived together in the temples, devoting themselves body and soul to their art, as did the musicians who accompanied them. After a period of decline, Bharata Natyam rose again from the ashes in the early twentieth century, thanks to the efforts of the dancer Rukmini Devi, who founded the Kalakshetra, the largest school in southern India, based in Chennai (formerly Madras).
Bharata Natyam is a dance of great technical precision, which requires the dancer to also take on the role of an actor: choreographies alternate purely technical parts and expressive parts, which recount, using hand gestures and facial expressions in particular, a mythological episode or sing the glory of a Hindu god. Beyond the aesthetic and cultural aspects of the dance, the Bharata Natyam, through its sacred origins, touches each person in their deepest aspirations by evoking the vital need mankind has for God.
Isabelle and Lakshmi offered a typically classical programme, allowing the audience to glimpse the richness of this art. Combining both technique and expression, the dancers introduced the audience to a completely different world – the Hindu pantheon – a world that is made accessible to the audience through the universal value of emotions the dancers describe. Each piece was a classic of the Bharata Natyam repertoire, and introduced by a poetic text, sometimes with one of the dancers on stage explaining the gestures that make up the dance, so that the audience might be better directed through the performance.
A huge thank you to Lakshmi and Isabelle for offering us this wonderful program. Our thanks also goes out to all those who helped organize this event, which raised 1 044 € for the orphanage Shanthi Bhavan Children’s Home.