‘Music Within’ – Journeys to hearts through Indian Classical dance

‘Music Within’ – Journeys to hearts through Indian Classical dance

‘Music Within (video clip)

Savitha Sastry photographs

An intelligent amalgamation of the ageless history of music, presented with the grace of the
South Indian dance form Bharathanatyam, the “Music Within” appeals to both connoisseurs
of this art form as well as to those that are uninitiated with Bharathanatyam. Stepping away
from the conventional mythological tales usually expressed through Bharathanatyam, “The
Music Within” dwells on a subject that touches contemporary lives through its universal
message of hope and love, without ever compromising on the elegance and form of the
traditional dance form.

This presentation has been staged in India, Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, USA,
and Australia and has been highly acclaimed for the power of its narration, the finesse
of the danseuse and her art, and the simplicity with which a profound subject has been
presented to the audience. Rapturous accolades from audiences and the sold out shows
bear testimony to the success of this ballet. This performance in San Francisco is the first in
this city.

The concept behind ‘Music Within’ began 25,000 feet in a flight over the Arabian Sea over
a discussion on the effect of music on people and their being. What began as a casual
chat transformed over several video conferences and international calls into a search for a
composer who could give it the aural form of a musical narrative on music. I found myself
in the atelier of Rajkumar Bharathi in Chennai, India explaining this concept while sipping a
freshly brewed cup of south Indian coffee. “Piece of cake!” he exclaimed.

The writer – music director – dance choreographer triumvirates, in many projects, often
lose sight of the original vision of the production. ‘Music Within’ was an exception and the
production stayed true to what I had envisioned on that flight over the Arabian Sea.

I have had an opportunity to take ‘Music Within’ to several arenas and in doing so, I found
that when Bharathanatyam is presented without its strong mythological undercurrents, the
art form immediately becomes understandable to a very diverse audience. This has led me
to use the power of the narrative in Bharathanatyam which I have discovered to be one of
the most elegant and yet so simple. Simple!

 

 

 

 

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