In celebration of a Mahashivratri concert and 50 years of service to the field of classical dance, Padma Bhushan Raja-Radha Reddy perform at Natya Tarangini building premises in Saket.
Raja-Radha Reddy are a legendary Kuchipudi dancing couple, gurus and choreographers. Their performances for over five decades globally have gained them a reputation of rare excellence and perfection in style and technique. Between them, the couple is solely responsible for bringing the classical Indian dance form of Kuchipudi to the cultural map of the world.
NatyaTarangini performing arts, founded by Raja-Radha Reddy 40 years ago, has been annually organising the "Parampara Series", a national festival of dance and music to promote these arts, for the last 20 years. This year to celebrate the couple's 50 years of dedication to the field of classical dance, Natya Tarangini is organising as an ode to Nataraja, The Lord of dance, on the occasion of Mahashivratri, a series of concerts to worship and praise Lord Shiva, The Creator of dance.
It has often been said that when in performance, Raja Reddy personifies and indeed embodies Lord Shiva Himself, driven by an inner force that inspires, almost possesses him when he dances, with Radha as an equally inspired Parvati. Together they weave magic, unmatched by any other dancing couple worldwide. The experience is altogether mersmerising, lifting the viewer into a trance.
Radha's sister, the lively Kaushalya, accorded the privilege of dancing with the two gurus much later in the years, too, is an intelligent and spritely dancer, extending the excellence of the gurus. It is always an added treat for the viewer to watch Kaushalya with Raja-Radha on stage, their timing and movement levelled to perfection.
The performance this Shivaratri will take place tomorrow (24 February) at 8.30 pm.
Lok Chhanda presents "Nritya Katha" ~ an evening of choreographic works in association with India Habitat Centre, in presenting a bouquet of various dance styles inspired by Kathak, Chhau and Contemporary Dance. Katha Dance Theatre tries to trail Indian Kathak from American soil, conceptualised by Rita Mustaphi, disciple of Pandit Birju Maharaj, with artists hailing from the US to capture the Indian magic. The troupe has been globe trotting to present their art from a global platform. The evening presents a wealth of seemingly scintillating performance, grand and nuanced at the same time.
Nayak, performed by Rakesh Sai Babu, choreographer and disciple of Guru Janmejoy Sai Babu, artistic director at Gurukul Chhau Dance Sangam, performs in the Mayurbhanj Chhau style.
Kabeer by Maitreyee Pahari graces with pure Kathak Style in contemporary presentation; music by the Mrigya band, composer Sharat Chandra Srivastava.
Karna by Rita Mustaphi, in Kathak style, reworks the Mahabharata, collaborated with Katha Dance Theatre Company members, Anurag Sharma and Derek Phillips, also local dancers and drummers, who accompany the tour.
Chains by Nanda Kumar depicts emotions and suffering of slaves and their thirst for freedom, having no escape route ~ individuals owned by others who control their life and living. Nand Kumar, with his background in Funk Jazz, dexterously moulded to Mayurbhanj Chhau under Santosh Nair, should be an interesting inclusion, like several other aspects of this rather unique series.
Lok Chhanda, established for the preservation and promotion of dance forms of India has come a long way, in the 25 years of its existence, drawing critical acclaim for its performances worldwide, as also in all major dance festivals of India. They perform on 27 February at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, at 7pm.