Bharatnatyam meets multimedia

Updated: 11 December, 2019 09:01 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

Bringing five performances on stage, a festival celebrates evolution in dance while staying rooted in tradition

Marga Nritya by Kalamandalam Priyal and troupe
Marga Nritya by Kalamandalam Priyal and troupe

The idea is to be witness to something new that goes on to inform tradition in the future," says Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, head of dance-programming at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai and curator, Pravaha Dance Festival. In its third edition that is due to take place tomorrow, the three-day festival will showcase new choreographies staying true to the form but with an eye on evolution.

So, while Bharatanatyam exponent Malavika Sarukkai uses multimedia in her dramatic adaptation of Bhagavad Gita with a performance titled The Battle Within, Toronto-based Lata Pada of Sampradaya Dance Creations incorporates Balinese dance in collaboration with choreographer I Wayan Dibia in a piece called Pralaya. "In a way, Sarukkai's use of multimedia is an endorsement in itself and ties in with our efforts to build audiences for dance. Similarly, collaboration in itself marks evolution in dance," says Dasgupta talking about the festival's larger pursuit.

The Battle Within by Malavika Sarukkai
The Battle Within by Malavika Sarukkai

On the other hand, Shama Bhate's Nishabda Bheda takes inspiration from a French documentary Le Monde du Silence, to explore silence in dance as opposed to accompanying music. The festival ends with two nuanced explorations of traditional text and form. Nirupama-Rajendra perform Abhisaar: In pursuit of..., a new-age Kathak performance and Kalamandalam's Piyal and troupe's Marga Nritya both draw from Natyashastra. Returning to the brass tacks while presenting their own unique interpretations of it. "So, while the piece itself is new, it is born out of a traditional source like the natyashastra," reiterates Dasgupta adding that the closing performance is an interesting watch for students of dance and theatre.

On December 12, 15 and 19
At National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, opposite Oberoi Hotel, Nariman Point.
Log on to
Call 66223737
Cost Rs 300 onwards

Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

First Published: 11 December, 2019 08:50 IST

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from

loading image
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK