The dance of life

If you can't tell the difference between Odissi, Kathak and Bharatanatyam, check out two dance performances, titled Gati Gayand and Ekatatva, which will showcase the difference in technique and the common thread that binds the three dance forms

Kickstart the year on a musical note by checking out three legendary classical dancers in action.

The event will feature Kathak dancer Uma Dogra, Bharatanatyam dancer Vaibhav Arekar and Odissi dancer Daksha Mashruwala, who will highlight the finer nuances of each dance in a presentation titled Gati Gayand.

Dancers Uma Dogra, Vaibhav Arekar and Daksha Mashruwala
at the performance titled Ekatatva

It will finally culminate in a performance titled Ekatatva, which explores the dancers' spiritual journey of uniting with the supreme.

"Gati means speed or tempo," explains Arekar, who has been performing Bharatanatyam for the last 21 years. Gati Gayand includes a 12-minute piece by each dancer, showcasing the different styles and tempos of the dances.
The audience will also get a glimpse of the expertise of each of these dancers as they perform in varied speeds and rhythms. "Gati Gayand is akin to a playful walk.
The choreographers in their respective styles Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak will indulge in a playful exploration of space through time or gati. Gati in a larger sense also denotes life and dance is a celebration of life.
Life moves in a circle or avartana, it begins, sustains, dissolves and begins again," explains Kathak exponent Uma Dogra.

Ekatatva, on the other hand, showcases the commonality between the three dances an attempt to unite with the Lord. Spirituality and devotion is the common thread that runs across all classical dances and Ekatatva is an endeavour where art and artists unite in pursuit of supreme bliss.

The 70-minute piece has been choreographed by all three dancers. The music for Ektatva has been composed by Manoj Desai and it combines the essence of all the three dances. "Instruments used in all the dances have been used in the music for the piece and it takes into account each dancer's explorative journey," says Arekar.

"Ekatatva is a common principle of thought that strings together three dancers, three choreographers and three classical dance styles Odissi,  Kathak and Bharatanatyam. It is about celebrating the use of the body through all of its movements to reach beyond the mundane in search of a higher existence," says Dogra.
"Like three different religions that ultimately tell you the same truth, these three dances also lead you to the same ultimate truth," adds Arekar.

ON Tomorrow, 6.30 pm
At Homi Bhabha Auditorium, Navy Nagar, Dr Homi Bhabha Road, Colaba.

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