That was the title that Vaibhav Arekar chose for his thematic presentation that he premiered last Friday on the opening day of his Sindhu Festival.
Although the title clearly spoke of seasons, one couldn’t help but wonder why a composite title had not been chosen, say Ritu Chakra! That was the question that caught my fancy and pulled me to go catch a glimpse.
Right at the onset Arekar said, “A lot of the imagery may not be understood. But feel free to interpret it your way.” That was a very powerful statement. His intelligence, depth and creative maturity was instantly evident.
What followed next was on the surface level the reciprocity of Human Nature and the Seasons. But only at the end the allegorical references start becoming clearer. Depicted through some superb choreographic sequences and excellent music, the somber Nature of the theme was so subtle that for a large part of the young audience it was heady.
The poetic beauty of the representations was excellent as was the Perfect 10 coordination of the dancers.
Arekar’s brilliant permutations of using the Body as the medium to convey the deeper meanings stood out brilliantly. His style evokes memories of the great Chandralekha, who way back in the 70’s used the Angika to present some memorable gems fusing Dance and Martial Arts.
Needless to say Arekar used up a lot of the poetic license freedom. Therefore, the stern body movements did become prosaic after a point. Also all went well until Vasant returned with the famous Javali E ra rara by Dharmapuri Subbaiyyer showcasing the open call to the client by the Ganika-the Prostitute. By far the best depiction of the Samanya Nayika I have ever seen, very cleanly presented by the dancers. Yet, it somehow did not quite fit into the overall sequence. Once again one does not know what the intention of the choreographer was. But it did seem a bit out of context in the overall scheme.
Then again amidst the overall metaphorical presentation, the last ditch effort to shower actual flowers in the end looked awkward and an unnecessary gimmick in an otherwise taut production.
Mixed reactions is what the audience had. While some clapped and enjoyed the poetic imagery; some looked lost wondering about what just happened. I for one found it quite an interesting take, innovative, intellectual, intense! It sure was yet another one with Arekar’s hatke signature.
His presentations are akin to MF Hussain’s abstract Art. But it takes an artist of caliber to turn Abstract into a masterpiece.
As I walked away my take away were the following lines by Daniel Abraham, ‘The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid. And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.” –The Price of Spring