Ms Shallu Jindal’s solo performance on May 2, 2013 in New Delhi was an hour long, scintillating journey into the world of Kuchipudi. 1
It is customary to commence a dance recital with a prayer to the Gods. Hence, the performance started with an ode to Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed God to remove all obstacles and for the success of the show.
Padma Bhushans Raja and Radha Reddy choreographed the entire repertoire in typical Kuchipudi classical dance style.
The first element of the solo performance was the Dashavataram, a traditional Kuchipudi segment where Ms Jindal portrayed the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu viz. Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Narasimha, Vaamana, Parashuram, Rama, Balaram, Buddha and the 10th avatar that is yet to come, Kalki.
The segment culminated with Ms Jindal portraying the Vishwaroopam of Lord Vishnu.
The second segment was an amalgamation of Kuchipudi with hindi Bhajans. Ms Jindal performed to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s rendition of Meera Bai’s bhajan written in the 16th century, saanson ki maala pe simruun main pii ka naam (with every breath I take, I chant the name of my beloved).
The performance was a coming together of three different regions. While Kuchipudi is from Andhra Pradesh, Meera Bai was from Rajasthan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is from Pakistan.
The choreography depicted spiritual love showing the connection between two souls. Through Kuchipudi, Ms Jindal showed how spiritual love has no language, no religion and it’s the same whether it is God or the Beloved.
The hour-long Kuchipudi extravaganza concluded with a performance on the Thaali on Tarana, a classical Hindustani composition by the late Pt. Ravi Shankar. In this performance, the dancers were depicted as sculptures that come to life and dance, and in the end again freeze into sculptures.
The item displayed exquisite artistry as Ms Jindal executed intricate footwork patterns by dancing on the rim of a brass plate and co-ordinated them with complicated rhythmic patterns. At that moment, when she was standing on the rims of the brass plate, it seemed as if her soul lost contact with the materialist world and was in harmony with the Eternal Power. A union of the Atma with the Parmatma!
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