I was wondering what to name this post. Initially, I started off with Madras Winter Music and Dance Festival. But then realised where I erred. The words 'Madras/Chennai' and 'winter' dont go together in the same sentence!I duly changed it.
I'd gone to see a dance performance last evening, by Alarmel Valli(Bharathnatyam) and Madhavi Mudgal(Odyssey). It was fab. Im not a connoisseur of dance, but I do know just that little bit to say if a performance is really good or not. Bharathnatyam as a dance is of straight lines, and a cutting smart performance. Odyssey is more slow and sensuous. The contrast between the two was quite pronounced. It was apparent especially during the first 3 dances which Madhavi and Valli did together. I felt that Valli stole the show and outclassed Madhavi. Maybe that was because odyssey being a slow dance has its own pace and beautiful when seen by itself. It was obvious during Madhavi's solo performance. Danced to hindustani music, a story about Krishna.
My favourite was the 3rd number, a thillana by the both of them.Composed by Balamurali Krishna, it was lively, and absolutely stunning. Valli's posture, movements and rhythm were superbly flawless. Madhavi was more fluid and smooth.
Valli finished with a slow dance, a tamil song sung for a baby Amman. Resplendent in white, the essence and expression was very nicely portrayed.
I generally like fast paced dance and needless to say the thillana was my favorite of them all. Amma and i enjoyed ourselves, and felt it was totally worth going early, and getting good seats.
Although I was sent for music classes(just like 99.99% of all south indian brahmin girls) I've always wanted to learn dance.Now its too late. They send girls to learn at a very young age, and now a 22 yr old girl prancing with 5 and 6 year olds will be slightly weird I must say.
This whole cultural experience takes on a whole new turn when we visited Dakshin Chitra today. Its this heritage center where they have recreated South India of the 1900s. Brick by brick, built ancient houses from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. It was definitely beautiful. To enhance the feeling, there are numerous activities. We got our future told by one guy with a parrot which picks out cards, (where Hema and Aishu were told that they were actually supposed to be born as boys, and I shouldn't wear black for the next 6 months), did pottery,block printing. and took tons of pictures.
As soon as we reached, near the reception was a gift shop. True to ourselves, we went in there first. Where I bought the cutest kalamkari pouch bag. Hello. We have a reputation to keep up. How can we not go into a shop right in front of us?? I know I have lots to carry and am being warned about excess baggage everyday. But I have my priorities right. As many clothes, bags and shoes I can manage! :-)