January 20, 2019
Jyotsna's Blog
My Art

If you don’t want to stagnate in your art, don’t stand still. Let the mind evolve with original and imaginative ideas, that enthuse you towards creativity. In the field of classical dance which is steeped in tradition, this is often a difficult and uphill path and one will always come up against protagonists that question such attempts . But I feel in our land where there are no absolute distinctions that form concepts of “Indian” religion,  music or  dance, an artist  should be given the freedom to amalgamate this diversity and allow it to  mutually co-exist. Thus I take pleasure in combining music of different genres including bhajjan, western, choir, folk and even punjabi and blend it to fit within the format of bharatanatyam in an aesthetic manner.


For quite some time now, I have drawn upon the audio-visual medium for many of my dance productions. The Gita Govindam, an ancient 12th century text  written by Jayadeva is a love epic depicting the countless sentiments that surge between Radha and Krishna. I sensed that the depth of these emotions would best be captured with the camera lens. Thus live dancing was interspersed with slides of the dancer projected on a large screen. This effectively transmitted nuances of these emotions to the audience which may have got lost in a purely live performance.  This production was a fusion of bharatnatyam, set to bhajjan music and visuals with a commentary in English. My attempt was also to lessen the ambiguity that is often associated with ancient texts and made it more relevant and user friendly!    


For the first time I also experimented with the film media in my production of Varanasi, a Gateway to Moksha. My attempt was to take the audience on a journey to this ancient yet vibrant city, that has eternally been linked with religion and the attainment of peace and salvation and to bring this out through dance and film.


Let me know if you think this form of fusion is appropriate in today’s world or does it dilute our classical arts?

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August 11,2008
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