Nrityabharati – Training wing of SUNAINA Society for the Upliftment of National Arts of India – situated at West Delhi conducted its 19th Annual Function by presenting an innovative program – ASHTALAKSHMI THE WOMAN. This program was presented by about 100 disciples of Guru Smt Kanaka Sudhakar the Founder Director.
The performance was based the theme that the woman is a personification of the Ashtalakshmi the Goddess of Virtues. Endowed with all her qualities – Wealth, good children, producer of food, compassion, courage, confidence etc. She is the modern 21st century woman whether she belongs to the underprivileged or privileged section.
The program started with a Pushpanjali by the Alankar level students of Nrityabharati. The item was based on the dancing Ganesha (Anaimughatone) in ragam Galway and Thalami Adi. The innovative Nritta patterns and postures made the item very energetic. This was followed by the lighting of the lamp by the President Guru Smt Kanaka Sudhakar and the Vice President Sh Rakesh Chaudhary.
This was followed by a Pushpanjali by the junior students who peformencd with confidence and beauty.
NRITYA KALPANA was the next attracti0on of the evening. It was performed by students of the 3d and 4th years learning Bharatantyam. This innovative item consisted of Brisk and interesting Nritta passages performed to fusion music of differe4ntiinstruments.Not only did the children perform withperfect coordination andconfidence but also with clarity. This item was specially choreographed for him evening by Guru Kanaka Sudhakar and her daughter disciple Km Aparajita Sarma.
The main attraction for the evening was ASTHLAKSHMI THE WOMAN – with the interesting theme of personifying the Ashtalakshmi in every woman. This was depicted through the dance drama on the Historical story of Lakshmibai –rani of Jhansi.
The music was again very aptly selected fusion music . The drama started with an invocation to Ashtalakshmi . The celestial world where the Ashtalakshmi dwell was shown with beautiful lighting after which each Devi danced to intricate jati patterns . Santana Lakshmi, Adi Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Jaya Lakshmi, Vijayalakshmi.and Dhairyalakshmi. The next scene was showed the birth of Manu a girl from a Brahmin family. This scene witnessed the celebrations of the birth scene in which the Eight Devis come down to bless the child with their virtues. This scene was shown with a colorful dance.
The next scene showed Manu grown up into a little but brave girl playing with her friends. This role was played by Sadhvi Sunderesan . Her bravery was aptly showed when she stops a passig elephant and climbs on its back.
Then Manu was shown to grow up into a 9 year old girl who is talented and beautiful. This role was played by Prerna Kakkar. She was shwn to be playing Dandiya with her friends. After this Tanya Gambhir in the role of a priest entered to tell that Manu was to be married to the King of Jhansi -Gangadhar Rao, The marriage scene was depicted with realismand colorful dances. The palki carrying the bride was very intricately made.
The next scene saw Manu name changed to Lakshmi Bai. The scene showing he learning the martial arts like sword fighting, horse riding and shooting was very innovately choreographed with hints from Chau but mostly Bharatantyam . The music was set to Chanda Jati. . This was followed by the electrified entry of the grown up Lakshmi Bai played by Aparajita Sarma ,and her friends who showed very energetic and vigorous movements in sword fighting and the mock fight. Right from Aparajita as Lakshmi Bai entering the court, her romantic scene with Gangadhar Rao, her affectionate playing with her adopted son Dhamodhar Rao she showed involvement and beauty of presentation.
The coronation scene when Dhamodar Rao is crowned to abide by the Doctrine of Lapse was shown by elaborate dances with lamps and flowers. The entry of the British in their reds and white (shown symbolically by red kurta and white pyjama with white bands) was the climax when Lakshmi Bai challenges them to the fight.
The Big fought between the British and the Indians (choreographed by Aparajita Sarama) was filled with Chau and Bharatantyam movements. The movements used for horse riding was appreciable. The use of real swords made the scene realistic The veena music showIng war tunes was remarkable. The lat scene when Lakshmibai flees from the British to Gwalior with her son on horseback was heart rending. The last moments of her life showed her fighting fiercely with the British , played aptly by Sandhya Hari) . The sound of the gun shot by the General played by Tripti Kalra brought tears to every one’s eyes.
After the dance drams a Kanaka Sudhakar honoured Ramesh Kumari Bharadwaj – social worker and educationist as the Ashtalakshmi 2008. She also honoured a poor woman Nazreen whom she said is also endowed with all the virtues of ASHTALAKSHMI . THE PROGRAM ENDED WITH Vademataram- a dance which showed Lakshmibai as the roop of the Goddess.