Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nuances on environment by an extraordinary dancer, Malavika Sarukkai

Courtesy photo: K.N.Muralidharan

Greetings from MY Right to Safe Food

Last evening, I was invited by a dear friend Dr Vasavi from National Institute of Advanced studies- NIAS to attend my first lecture dance of Bharatnatyam by Malavika Sarukkai. Mind you, I have attended several Bharatnatyam performances but when Malavika started in her all encompassing energised sprite, there appeared images of some dancers both young and the senior ones, who have never left such a profound lasting impact on me.

You may be wondering what dance has got to do with safe foods, read on and find out.

Words cannot express this most breath taking language of dance, the word performance dilutes it. Malavika is no ordinary artist. I was so overwhelmed and tearfully joyous as i was held captive to her soul like moves. She succinctly shared the nuances that merges space and movement, two different polarities but so complement each other. What really touched the core of my being was her two striking environment pieces, so vivid even now "Yudhistra's dream"from our epic Mahabharata, where she enacted the emotive language of the fearful deers who pleaded with Yudhistra to be heard and not be victims of his might. She echoed the unheard voices, the mute pleas from our forest dwellers, so ruthlessly and mercilessly destroyed for greed by these thoughtless superior race of human beings. Where co-existence is not a factor in our well being, like the Earth belongs to us alone and no one else!

The other magnificent piece was on the pained life of Salamarda Timakka, a humble woman who hails from Karnataka and grieves at her barren state. She sows a seed of a Banyan, only to witness the miracle of life germinating through the womb of the Earth. Realisation dawns at nature's bounty. Today she is a proud mother to not one banyan tree but 247 banyan trees!

Through Malavika's delicate choreography placing art before the artist, being one with the character, turning it into an elegant, effortless and joyous expression, I so connected with her sensitive and sensual balance in displaying the treacherous exploitation of Mother Earth, where soil and seeds are so sacred to me. As always said " Seeds belong to no one, they are a gift of life to life itself". It our legacy and heritage and cannot rest with a handful corrupt and manipulative MNC's.

Malavika relayed all of the above and stressed the importance of imparting beauty to each movement through space and time, so graceful and relaxed. She transported me to her time and space that existed souley between us, through ecstasy. Every part of my being came alive, as if everything else around me was nullified, static and i was merged in her being.

For several minutes after her show, i was gob smacked not wishing to let those moments go but much to my delight, i had the fine opportunity to meet with Malavika in person during dinner. I was so choked upon seeing her that could barely contain my emotion of gratitude and in return was bestowed by a warm hug.

I never realised the impact this would have to my mind that no sooner my farmers arrived this morning, i narrated in excitement and shared with my farmer women by downloading through utube some pieces of her magnificent art. The reaction upon seeing so moved dear Selvi who hails from Tamil Nadu, a dedicated farmer whose instant reaction was "Can my daughter learn when she grows a bit older from this divine dancer?"

You have found a fan and well wisher in me and my farmers, wish you Malavika in abundance as does Nature with seemless boundaries, sowing seeds of consciousness.

Look forward to your next performance and launch of your DVD on March 19th at NIAS.


Sangita Sharma

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