‘Anekanta’ was based on embracing diversity.
‘There is one truth, but the wise man sees it in different ways.’ There are multiple versions to what is the truth, which varies according to the perception of each individual. Geeta Chandran’s new solo performance, titled ‘Anekanta,’ is inspired by the Jain philosophy of embracing diversity and accepting multiple truths. Renowned Jain scholar and author Sudamahi Raghunathan, who has given conceptual inputs for this production, gave an introductory talk on the underlying philosophy at Geeta’s performance for Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.
The opening number was a Dhrupad Nirgeet, which emphasises the concept that we are not alone in this universe and life becomes meaningful only when we relate to what is around us. Titled, ‘Word and Sense,’ it speaks of the importance of the two coming together to open up the channel of communication. Building up on the meditative mood of Dhrupad music, Geeta explored the birth of sound, silences which give meaning to word and transformation to language.
‘Krishna nee Begane Baaro,’ the popular song was taken up to explore emotions to evoke a feeling of Rasa. In her interpretation Geeta explored the beautiful relationship of love between the mother and child ,with sensitive abhinaya.
‘Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti’ speaks of seeking truth amidst seeming differences. The choreography was devised using five metaphors to convey the idea. For instance, a seed growing into a tree, the bearing of fruit and its return to seed, rivers converging in the ocean.
The highlight here was the musical composition and superb rendering. While one vocalist was singing on a meditative chanting mode, the other was exploring ragas such as Basant, Behag and Nilambari. K.Venkateshwaran and Dr. S. Vasudevan with their soulful singing enhanced the visual experience. Eshwar Ramakrishnan on the violin, Lalgudi Sriganesh on the mridangam and Sharanya Chandran on the nattuvangam complemented the duo.
An interesting depiction came from Valmiki Ramayana. Ravana goes to see Sita in Ashoka vana. Bewitched by her beauty, he wonders what it would be to see her full persona if what little he sees can be so captivating. The masculinity and power of Ravana came alive in the dancer’s stance.
‘Anekanta’ was publicised as a work inspired by Jain philosophy, one expected a predominant Jain influence running through in choreography and attire, but with Krishna and Ravana dominating the choreography, accentuated by the dancer’s Gujarati pallu drape, Jainism stayed at its philosophical idea level. Sandhya Raman was in charge of costume. – Article Courtesy: The Hindu, Image by K.Siddarth