March 5, 2017

Aroha Fine Arts based in Ottawa, Canada, presented a thematic Kathak performance titled ‘Design 14’ at the Guru Nanak Bhavan under the auspices of the Bangalore School of Music on 12th of February.

Anjali Patil, the Artistic Director and Founder of Aroha Fine Arts, trained under renowned Gurus Kumudini Lakhia and Late Rohini Bhate, and her team of dancers Eshani Sathe, Fiana Kawane, Barkha Patel and Sukriti Sharma presented a Kathak performance that was marked by precision, grace and technique. The nomenclature of Design 14 comes from the rarely used, 14 beat cycle underlying their presentation.

The opening sequence Tandav explores the dimensions of the Lord of Dance, Shiva in his role as a destroyer. The rhythmic movements of the cycles of creation and destruction were depicted with demanding technique and graceful movements. Dhamaar that followed in the 14 beat cycle was visually stunning with complex rhythms and shapes and executed with technical finesse by the dancers, providing a refreshing take of creative expression and fluidity of movement.

The Amir Khusro composition “Mohe apne rang mein rang de nizam” explored the supplication of a human being when he feels lost and needs to connect to a higher power. The mime and abhinaya aspect came to the fore with delightful expressions as inspiration returns to the empty and bereft individual who humbly requests the outer power to colour his own. The celebratory mood was vividly captured in the Taraana vibrant in its execution wherein the dancer becomes the dance signifying the spirit of Shiva in confirmation and celebration that change is safe.

The program had a high sense of aesthetic calibration and finesse in execution by all the dancers. The presentation was enriched by the music of Chinmay Kolhatkar, embellished by the costumes of Anuvi Desai and the brilliant lighting of Brad Trenaman providing the heightened visual imagery of the presentation.

Bangalore based Satish Suri is an avid dance rasika besides being a life member of the Music and Arts Society.