Performance & Music
October 15; 7pm
Barnes Hall Auditorium
Presented by the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY) Cornell Chapter
Join invited artists Renjith and Vijna for a Traditional Bharatanatyam dance performance called the ‘margam,’ consisting of a set of seven items performed in order.
The performance begins with the ‘Alarippu’, a primarily rhythmic invocation without melody allowing the dancer to warm up for the rest of the presentation, and moves on to ‘Jatiswaram’, adding melody to the rhythm, without any expressed words, setting the stage for the technical aspects to follow. The next piece is ‘Shabdam’, where words (and meaning) are added to the rhythmic melody compositions. Then comes the ‘Varnam’, the longest piece and sanctum sanctorum of the entire performance – the dancer presents the main composition, beautifully telling a story through intricate facial expressions and footwork, in harmony with music and rhythm. Following the ‘Varnam’, is the ‘Padam’, which is a purely expressional piece, expressing various shades of emotion. The next piece also highlights the expressive aspect of the dance form, and could either be a ‘Javali’, ‘Kirtanam’ or an ‘Ashtapadi’. The final piece is the ‘Thillana’, a lively item consisting of repetitive phrases rhythmic syllables accompanying melody, with the dance movements exemplifying the elaborate musical arrangement.
In the words of celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer Balasaraswati, the overall sequence of Bharatanatyam moves from “mere meter; then melody and meter; continuing with music, meaning and meter; its expansion in the centerpiece of the varnam; thereafter, music and meaning without meter; (…) a non-metrical song at the end. We see a most wonderful completeness and symmetry in this art.”
Bharatanatyam couple Renjith and Vijna are not only powerful dancers, but one of the most sought after dancing couples in India. Having gained immense popularity for their crisp movement, complete with subtle expressions and grace, they have won multiple accolades nationally and internationally ‘for their aesthetics of performance, innovation, and perfection, achieved through giving attention to the nuances of the dance form’.