Author: A Saye Sekhar
When one door closes, another opens. This is a famous quote of the inventor of telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. This rings a bell, in one context or the other. Ain’t it? When Vani Ganapathi christened her Bharatanatyam dance drama as “Dwaaram”, she surely must have had the proverbial door in mind.
Together with another Bharatanatyam exponent Satyanarayana Raju, Vani gave a final shape to the concept. The danseuse of excellence has woven the story around five ‘dwaaram’ (doors). The concept is unique in many ways and this form of art is, in a way, one of the most effective modes of communication.
The dance ballet was conceptualised way back in 2006.The dance ballet presents something like doors, which have the proverbial eyes and ears,. ‘talking’. The doorways are either open or closed. The life’s nuances and various hues are unveiled in this dance drama.
The doors watch the plethora of happenings around. Mythological or mythical, classic or contemporary or combo of them are all silently observed by doors.
Five ‘doors’ were woven into the hour-and-a-half eclectic journey of the ballet with such an alacrity that the dancers take their audience through the kaleidoscope of life.
Raja Dwaaram – Main gate of a palace
Veera Dwaaram – The gate for the valiant
Gruha Dwaaram – The gate of an ordinary house
Daiva Dwaaram – The gate of the divine
Atma Dwaaram – The gate of the soul
This well-choreographed art form was a runaway hit with the audience at the venerable Chowdaiah Memorial Hall in Bangalore June this year.Now the spectacular event is going to become a visual treat to the audience of Hyderabad at the legendary Ravindra Bharathi in the heart of the City.
‘Raja Dwaaram’ :
This unfurls a story of Draupadi’s vow of leaving her long hair without a plait until the humiliation meted out to her was avenged by cleansing her hair with the blood of Dussasana who violated her. The ballet artfully depicts the gamble of dice into which the eldest of Pandavas, Yudhishthira, was lured and made to lose his brothers, wife, the State and himself.
The bravery of Kantheerava Narasaraja-I of the Wodeyar dynasty is encapsulated in this. Narasaraja-I aka Ranadheera Kantheerava foiled an assassination bid on himself and the numerous development schemes he implemented for the good of the people were highlighted. Sathyanarayana Raju with his powerful performance will surely entertain the audience to their hearts’ content.
As it is understood by all remains a spectator and mute witness to love-hate relationships between humans. The story revolves round how a man entices his woman who is cut up with him and how they fight and make truce. This part of the dance drama takes the performance of the artistes to its crescendo and the viewers too would enjoy this to the hilt.
Two mythological stories are embedded in the door to the God. Poetess Andaalu, the devotee of the God, submits herself to the God for attaining salvation and eternity, the way she adorns herself with the garland kept for the Lord by her father Vishnuchittha is one part. Another is the grant of salvation by the Lord Krishna to his devotee who indefatigably awaits a darshan (an audience with the God). The piety of the devout would be demonstrated to the brim in this episode.
This is the grand finale of the dance ballet to take the audience to transcendental state. The dance demos how the human conquers the six vices of kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (miserliness), moha (infatuation), madha (arrogance) and matsarya (jealousy) and attain salvation.
Vani Ganapathi’s performance always has live music as she doesn’t like recorded music for dance performances. The symphony of instruments syncs so well with the vocalists that the steps appear almost natural and automatic with the dancers swaying to the tunes.The grandiose decoration of dais, the doors and special effects add glitter to the grandeur of the dance.
One must see if Vani intertwines newer concepts into the form to push through the ‘door’ at the Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation 2014 at Hyderabad on November 11 from 7.30 pm to 9.15 pm at Ravindra Bharathi.