The open and vast stage on the banks of the Hussain Sagar saw a storming performance
of Perini and Kathak dances on the penultimate day of the week-long festival of
Andhra. Choreographed by Kathak dancer Maya Rao from Bangalore in collaboration
with disciples of Guru Nataraja Rama Krishna, the production was a fusion of forms,
like Kathak on par with the vigor and masculinity of the Perini dance and also
matching the 'Lasya', the delicate grace, of Andhra Natyam. The composition also
had a blend of Hindustani and Carnatic music as the dancers entered the stage
with oil lamps and flowers to commence.
Over five Kathak and four Perini and Andhra Natyam dancers further evoked the spirit of the dancing Ganesha and also traced the astral rhythms of the dancing Siva. Without totally exiting the stage, the dancers, in a continuous manner, further proceeded to portray yet another god, Krishna, and his dancing image. Krishna Tandavam, set in the melodies of Sunadavinodini and Hindola, had the dancers, through alternate movements, explore the rhythmic and spontaneous characteristics of the respective forms. And the Surati-Jijhoti Tillana-Tarana was a harmonious culmination to an hour of breezy dances.
This scintillating performance gave way to a Hindustani vocal concert. The duo Rajan and Sajan Misra took the audiences into the realms of the sophisticated rhapsodies of Tumari, Dadara, Kirtan, with elaboration in ragas.
The whole pleasant mood of music and dance suddenly took a twist to depict a distant culture, which was equally exciting for its lively folk and musical performances. 30 Malaysian ethnic artists, clad in colorful shimmering costumes and backed by those twirling tunes, appeared on stage giving an alien visual to the audience.
Those unique and numerous forms of percussion, the stringed and wind blown instruments like the violin, the canang, the kompang, the gong, the jido and the rabanaand, and a number of dances like the peacock dance with the dancers appearing with feathers and beaks and fire gimmick dances, and host of rustic performances like Sabah and Sarwak including the snake-like dances, transported the audience into the colorful Malaysian culture. Almost setting the stage aflame, these dances also saw influences of Chinese and Japanese culture.
Yet another interesting aspect of this performance was the effect of cross cultures that blend to make a harmonious art. Islamic, Thailand, Portuguese, Arab and Hindu traditions have found their elements in Malaysian art and performance.