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An ode to mother earth

To the beat of the pung (drum) and the chants of shlokas from Atharva Veda, Manipuri dancer Suman Sarawgi and her troupe will perform Sharanya at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) this week.

Dancing since she was nine years old, Sarawgi has trained under maestros such as Priti Patel and Sruti Banerjee in Kolkata, apart from Ojha Th Babu Singh, Ojha Lokendrajit Singh, Laxmi Devi and Thorani Sabi.

“Manipuri revolves around the cult of Radha and Krishna and forms the central theme of most performances. Sharanya will present Sankirtana, a composition which is the soul of this classical dance. The dancer plays the pung and dances at the same time. Performances are usually accompanied by basic instruments, including pung, dhol, dholok, manjira and flute,” says Sarawgi.

“Shlokas from Atharva Veda have been used in the composition. The performers will pay homage to mother earth, who is the giver of all. For the six compositions, dancers will perform to live as well as recorded music,” she adds.

When she is not staging performances, Sarawgi does her bit for the society by training poor children. “Everyone can dance, as every individual has a sense of rhythm in his / her body. All we need to do is explore it. I explore this rhythm and convert it to dance with hearing-impaired children,” says Sarawgi, who will perform at the NCPA for the first time.

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