On 22nd October 2016 the Marathi Film Industry and Classical Dance Connoisseurs of Pune witnessed a big tragedy…
Actor cum dancer unparalleled Ashwini Ekbote collapsed in the middle of her dance recital on Bharat Natya Mandir stage and breathed her last at the age of 44.
The family and her inner circle of Gurubhaginis (Dance compatriots) have since then instituted an annual award in her memory to a deserving artist belonging to the Stage lineage.
Last week the third edition of the same was held at her Samadhi sthal Bharat Natya Mandir where fellow dance Guru Anjali Bagal staged an hour long dance musical on Sri Aurobindo’s poem Bhavani Bharati.
Bhavani Bharati is a 100-verse sanskrit poem (called Satakam) written by Sri Aurobindo sometime during India’s struggle for independence from British rule.
Theme of this poem was Devi Kali’s plea to the motherland’s children to rise against the atrocities being meted out. The challenging dance depiction showcased the need for the call once again today against New Age social evils.
In the current melee of rising anarchy, self-awakening is the need of the hour. The best part of the choreography was the honesty of approach and simplicity of presentation.
Some very poignant depictions like that of corruption, political apathy and the Common Man as mere puppets in the hands of power crazed leaders was absolutely brilliant. The best choreographic moment was the depiction of the dichotomy in Society with Good and Evil being presented as two sides of the same coin.
Each and every dancer in the group showed great control with their expressions and dignified demeanor with Bagal’s high integrity in approaching the subject matter being indeed laudable.
It was in the Nritta that the production failed to impress with the choreography limited to very few adavu usages and a low energy tempo. With Dancers of varying age groups forming the team, the mix oscillated between sharp, young, well-practiced angashuddhi to worn-out, clearly out of form participants.
However, even though the pure technical pieces fell short, it was more than compensated with the excellent abhinaya and matured portrayals.
Some Kodak moment scenes of the same were the depictions of the economic loot in the food chain with middlemen making hay while consumers and producers lament. The portrayal of Gender equality, the daily rat race, and gender inequality were brilliant.
The Music created by Shivaprasad was pleasant but basic. The Thillana was too short to be enjoyed. The Vande Mataram in the end though brought out the goosebumps.
Overall a very nice attempt with unique content and honest approach. With some work on the Nritta, this production can evoke exalted allegiance to one’s country.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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