Mohiniyattam artiste Neena Prasad makes her way to the city
Bengaluru-based Gramsci Foundation has been doing its bit for the city’s art scene ever since its inception in 2015. After hosting Kathak and contemporary dance performances and workshops, the art trust will host renowned Mohiniyattam exponent, Neena Prasad to the city. The artiste, who runs the Bharatanjali Academy of Indian Dances, Thiruvananthapuram, will present a show called Lasya Sandhya, an ode to the graceful and gentle dance form that is Mohiniyattam.
“I think Mohiniyattam is the most graceful form of dance. There’s so much beauty in its gentle pace and delicate swaying movements,” begins Prasad, who has performed at venues from Portugal and Japan to France and Russia.
The solo performance will focus on the three pillars of Indian dance — nritta, nritya and natya. “While nritta pertains mainly to body movements, nritya is dance moves set to rhythm and natya is all about the expressions involved. All three components are integral to a performance,” explains the dancer.
Through the six choreographed pieces that Prasad will be presenting on stage, the show will lay emphasis on the theme of maya or illusion, which she describes as ‘the heart of enchantment,’ the aspect that is the definition of Mohiniyattam. And while most dancers choose to give their repertoire a contemporary edge, Prasad prefers to keep things traditional.
“Traditional dance forms have become too contemporary. As a result, they have lost their essence. My style is time tested. It has evolved over centuries,” explains the dancer, whose performance will be accompanied by a live orchestra. The show is a compilation of all the pieces that the artiste has put together over the years.
After the performance in Bengaluru, Prasad travels to Nagpur for the Kalidas festival on November 22.
Entry free. Today, 6.30 pm. At Seva Sadan Auditorium, Malleshwaram. Details: 8105516644
— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo