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    Classical dancer Malavika Sarukkai performs at Chowdiah

    Malavika Sarukkai’s choreographies are known for the lyrical beauty of the classical language of Bharatanatyam combined with the expression of a contemporary mind. She is in Bengaluru with a performance of her one-of-a-kind classical dance production. The show, entitled Vamatara — To The Light premiered at the NCPA in Mumbai earlier this year and is now playing in the city. The prominent motif is that of the lotus. “The lotus is an integral part of Indian philosophy, poetry and art,” says the Padma Shri winner, adding. “It is a symbol of hope as it rises from the sludge.”
    Sarukkai feels that in today’s fragmented world, there is a need for hope and hence this is a great subject to bring forward. She feels the classical arts are all about harmony. They bring together a positive energy for the mind and the body. And hope is one thing that can bring society together.
    While the show will have solo performances by her, for the first time, she is doing group performances with a few other dancers as well. This type of group dance is a novel format when it comes to Sarukkai’s repertoire. “The production will have a lot of abstract themes brought out by movements,” she says, adding, “We will depict metaphysical awakenings through the art.”
    Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Sarukkai learnt Bharatanatyam trained under Kalyanasundaram Pillai (Thanjavur school) and Rajaratnam (Vazhuvoor school). The story of her life was made into a documentary titled, Samarpanam, by the government of India. “It’s interesting to come back and perform at a venue. I love Chowdiah and have performed there many times. The audience knows my work. It is a different thrill than the one I get when performing at a new venue,” she says.
    Tonight, 7.30 pm. At Malleswaram. Tickets (`100 upwards) on bookmyshow.com

    — Anagha M

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