G. V. Ramani Natya Kala Foundation, formerly known as the Takshashila Dance Academy, unveils the 6thMargazhi Festival at Marathi Sahitya Mandir, Vashi (Navi Mumbai). It was a two-day festival of Indian classical dance organized by Gayatri Subramanian. The festival emerged as a stand-alone fixture on cultural calendar of many dance artists. Over the years, it has grown in scale and influence, and has come to be known as the ‘December season’ for the artists.
On 15th December, the first day of the event, Hema Balasubramanian and her team delivered a mellifluous concert as a tribute to legendary poet, Subrahmanyam Bharati ably supported by dancer Aishwarya Harish. Students of G. V. Ramani Natya Kala Foundation added the icing on the cake, with two lively ‘kummi dance’ presentations.
The second day of the event witnessed a few soulful performances by Parwati Dutta, Director Mahagami, Aurangabad and four other dancers from her academy. In their performances, ‘Khamaajpallavi’ and a composition based on an Oriya poem, written on Lord Krishna stood as the focal attraction of the presentation.
On the same day, the legendary “Dhananjayans” couple conquered the hearts with their performance. The illustrious duo, Padmabhushan Dhananjayans presented a 60 minute performance from The Ramayana. It was a performance portraying an episode from the Epic Ramayana involving three characters Manthara, Kaikeyi and Dasaratha, where Manthara poisons Kaikeyi’s mind, against Rama’s coronation and followed by King Dasharatha’s state, when Kaikeyi asks for two boons that breaks his heart into pieces.
The characters Manthara, and Dasaratha were skilfully performed by V.P. Dhananjayan and Kaikeyi by Shanta Dhananjayan. The duo portrayed the characters superlatively gluing the audience to their seats in wonder.
One cannot actually decide which role was better portrayed. Manthara’s body language, her walking style and actions, Dasaratha’s robust walk with that erect poise of a King and his spontaneous fall on the floor on hearing about Rama being sent to ‘Vanavaasam’ stood as intense scenes of the performance. They whole episode kept the audience engrossed and captivated.
The Margazi Festival is for seasoned as well as emerging artists, December being the high point of the year. Attracting diverse audiences from all age groups—scholars, students of the arts and other passionate folks, the Indian classical dance festival is not to be missed.