Night with the dancing stars

Oct 07, 2012, 09:02 IST | Moeena Halim

The three-day Nakshatra Dance Festival is back at the NCPA. This year, audiences can expect stellar performances by renowned dancers Mandakini Trivedi, Raja and Radha Reddy, and Kumudini Lakhia, among others

A rich tapestry of dance forms, each exploring the many facets of dance culture in India” — this, according to renowned Mohiniattam dancer Mandakini Trivedi, is what audiences can expect this year at the fourth Nakshatra Dance Festival at NCPA.

Trivedi will perform the Mohiniattam dance alongside Kathakali dancer Kalamandalam Piyal and his student Akash Mallick. Their presentation will revolve around the age-old myth of Bhasmasura Mohini. While the characters of Bhasmasura and Shiva are enacted in the Kathakali style, Trivedi will play the role of Mohini in the Mohiniattam dance style.

Kuchipudi dancers Dr Raja and Radha Reddy

Kuchipudi dancers, husband-wife duo Dr Raja and Radha Reddy, will present the lyrical ‘Mahanatam’. “I will be Nataraja and Radha will play Parvati. We will be joined onstage by six other students who will portray animals such as peacocks, deer, elephants. After all Nataraja created dance for all living creatures,” says Raja, a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee.

For Raja, performing at the festival means exposing audiences to the ‘real Indian aesthetics’. “Thanks to cinema, dance has become very vulgar. We need to expose Indian audiences to the classical dance forms,” says Raja.

“Repeated, natural exposure is the only way for the layman to appreciate these centuries old, rich forms and I think festivals such as these provide an opportunity for that,” agrees Trivedi.

Who’s dancing when
October 11, 7 pm — Bhasmasura Mohini (Mohiniattam and Kathakali) by Mandakini Trivedi and Kalamandalam Piyal
8 pm — Mahanatam (Kuchipudi) By Raja and Radha Reddy and troupe
October 12, 7 pm — Atah Kim (Kathak) by Kumudini Lakhia and troupe
October 13, 7pm — Sukriti (Odissi) by Madhavi Mudgal and troupe
October 14, 7pm — Scent of the Earth (Bharatanatyam) by Alarmel Valli 

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