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Vani Ganapathy and Sathyanarayana Raju’s dance drama collaboration premieres this evening

Passing through five metaphorical doors, spinning tales of passion through to divinity, acclaimed dancers Vani Ganapathy and Sathyanarayana Raju take you through a dance drama that is as unique as it is traditional. With music in five regional languages – Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit and Hindi – the production, titled Dwaaram, has been eight years in the making. It’s a medley of tales and episodes through the eyes and ears of the ubiquitous ‘door’. “It started one morning in 2006 when I thought to myself, ‘What if doors could speak? Imagine the stories they could tell!’ And my fascination with this concept started,” begins Ganapathy about the inspiration for Dwaaram.

CultureLead1Theatrics galore
“I was running on a very tight schedule then and it took me a while to find time to approach Sathya and  invite him on board. He readily agreed and that is how we started collaborating about two months ago,” says Ganapathy, who goes on to explain that Raju’s creativity and innovation in Bharatnatyam made him the obvious choice for the production. Spanning five acts, Ganapathy and Raju mix traditional formats of dance and music with theatrics to bring out a show that, Ganapathy assures us, “will use elements of  classical dance in such a dramatic way that even someone who is not acquainted with Bharatnatyam will enjoy it.”

Final cut
A lot of effort has gone into the sets and costumes for both the dancers, which, though in the traditional Bharatnatyam style, will change for every act according to the mood of the scene. The backdrop uses actual antique doors that change according to the scene as well. “So, while you can call it a dance drama, it is really a dance feature with a lot of drama,” Ganapathy summates. She also strictly adheres to the Bharatnatyam style in this one because “we felt that we could realistically represent all that we wanted to tell through this form and didn’t need to adapt to anything else. It is one of the simplest forms of dance and the one that bears closest resemblance to abhinaya (acting), making it perfect for this kind of production.”

Passes (free) available on a first-come-first-served basis at My Fortune Hotel, Richmond Road. 7 pm at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram. Details: 23443956

—Susanna Chandy

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