Kathak dancer Shoma Kaikini (28) believes that amidst the daily bustle of life, we miss out on having conversations with ourselves. Kaikini and her students at Nrityanidhi hope that Asmi, a 90-minute performance that juxtaposes movements from Kathak with 11 Sufi songs, including songs by Abida Parveen and Runa Laila will urge audiences towards introspection.
“Asmi means ‘I am’ in Sanskrit. At Nrityanidhi, we also focus on spirituality and personality development, apart from dance. This performance is about encouraging the viewer to pause and contemplate questions such as ‘Who am I?’, which is the cornerstone of spirituality and leads to the realisation that Aham Brahmasmi (I am God),” explains Kaikini.
Pause to reflect
“When was the last time you went to a movie or a vacation on your own? We know so much about our friends and colleagues, but very little about ourselves. We tend to run away from ourselves which causes disappointment and misunderstanding,” says Kaikini, who attributes this to leading hectic lifestyles.
Asmi fuses Kathak with Sufi compositions
The daily 30-minute discussion on positivity and introspection during dance classes was where Kaikini found inspiration to stage Asmi. “We chose Sufi songs because they have instant appeal. The movements will be light-classical, so that even people who may not understand classical dance can relate to the choreography,” she says.
“Asmi is about seeking the energy within and loving yourself — a message which resonates with everyone,” she concludes. Kaikini will dance with 12 members from her troupe. Harshvardhan Singh, a student of Pandit Birju Maharaj, will be the guest performer.