'This is not junk food'

.... says renowned dancer Malavika Sarukkai about her solo performance Sakthi Sakthimaan that explores the positive and negative energies inherent in humans and the universe

Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, the city Varanasi always fascinated noted Bharatnatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai. The fact that everyone in the city would suggest different routes to reach the same temple intrigued her and on one such visit, a philosophical truth dawned on her.

"I realised that there can be many paths to reach one destination, just like in India there are many faiths to reach the Almighty," explains Sarukkai.
This realisation made the artiste ponder over the thought for nearly seven months and thus was born the dance piece Sakthi Sakthimaan that will be staged this weekend for the first time in Bangalore. 

The solo performance, which Sarukkai describes as her personal interpretation of the concepts surrounding Shiva and Shakthi, will explore the language of the classical dance form Bharatnatyam.
"Sakthi Sakthimaan is about envisioning the Devi as Mahishasuramardini and calling up on energy that is both fearsome and auspicious," says Sarukkai. She adds that all this will however be presented without any theatrical set up and props.

Sakthi Sakthimaan consists of four dance pieces, which will bring out a new and energized grammar of Bharatnatyam.

The first part, a musical repertoire, will describe the beauty of the Devi and dance of lord Shiva while the second part would chronicle the terrifying battle between Mahisashura and Devi. Sarukkai shares that Sakthi Sakthimaan is the result of long hours of thoughts and conceptualising.

"This is not junk food. It is exquisitely flavoured and put together with refined sensibility. It is not repetitive and imitative," says Sarukkai.

Sarukkai agrees that dancing with 18 hands like Devi Durga is not easy but says that Sakthi Sakthimaan has not only enhanced the quality of her art but also given her a new space and sense of freedom.
The dance recital, she explains, will interpret the thin line between masculine and feminine, fearful and positive and universe and black holes. "There are diverse energies in all of us. When you see the Devi, she is feminine when she turns Mahishasuramardini, it is a different kind of energy," observes Sarukkai.

Sarukkai, who performed Sakthi Sakthimaan recently at The Kennedy Centre, Washington, says that the audience does not need to be an expert on Bharatnatyam to enjoy the performance.

According to her, dance through the world has a spirit and the artiste has to capture it and convey it to the audience. "It is not meant for dance connoisseurs. It had a lot of energy and is communicative. It is the power of art that surprises people with its accessibility," signs off Sarukkai.

5 Things you didn't know about  Malavika Sarukkai
Cannot do without proper food and some me time everyday
Loves reading and watching movies when not dancing
Dreams of performing in some exotic mountains one day
Becomes happy listening to flute, Mozart and Ulhas Kashalkar
Hates that nowadays she gets impatient fast

Where The Bangalore International Centre, Domlur
On November 20, 7.30 pm onwards
Call 98450 55348
Passes are available at the venue

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