Just as the numerous crafts shops got into the spirit of rejuvenating a vocation
that has bounced back from the brink of apathy, and the folks started to feel
the beginnings of an urge to posses the traditional artifacts and functional objects,
a few evinced interested in performing arts.
And what did the amphitheater have for them? Navtej Singh Johar in a new avatar!
He who transfixed us on the inaugural evening with his Sufi dance, inside fifteen
minutes. It was clear then that the audience wanted more of him, then. But this
time he was unrecognizable (but for his beard), clad in a simplified Bharatanatyam
costume and performing the 'Varnam', which seemed to evolve 'with out a beginning
and culminated with out an end'. In simple terms, the artist's rendering of the
Varnam was so subtle and mesmeric that one got lost in his movements and gestures.
One thing is an intrinsic element of Navatej's performances - the aspect of 'Spirituality'.
Whether it is Sufi fusion or Bharatanatyam; the experience is one of saintliness
In the present Varnam, he perfectly interpreted the concept of 'Madhura Bhakti'
- the Jeevatma (mortal)- Paramatma (divine) relationship, or the
symbolic representation of the female as Nature or all that is mortal, and the
male as the divine. The dancer received able support on cymbals and Sudha was
perfect with her background vocals. Earlier in the evening, there was a brief
music concert by Venumadhav and his group.
Venumadhav, a flutist, led the serenade with melodies of Carnatic music. And the evening culminated with a dance drama, titled "Pasupatham". This dramatic Kuchipudi play, with heavy make up, ornaments and costume, and directed M Venkateswara Rao, revolves around a mythical episode of the Mahabharata. The Pandava brother, Arjuna, strives to gain power with divine artillery support. The scenic episode, set in a forest, has Lord Siva appearing as a hunter and confronting Arujna, who is later bequeathed with a weapon, "Pasupatham".