Mind the music

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The human subconscious is fascinating, yet complicated. Thus, to elaborate on how a person’s mind works is no child’s play. Consider doing the same with free flowing movements set to various types of music and it would probably be rather challenging. Confused? Maybe, that is exactly how the human mind is.

The dance dialogue titled Aadhaarachakra, by Bangalore-based dance institute Attakkalari, depicted the unique transition of human thoughts. The programme that was staged at JT PAC, Ernakulam on Sunday evening saw a collaboration of traditional and contemporary dance forms.

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As the title suggested, Aadhaarachakra was a dance-dialogue. The artistes narrated tales of the sub-conscious through free flowing, yet synchronised, dance moves. And they told tales of the country’s past, present and future.

The highlights

Unlike other fusion dance performances, Aadhaarachakra showcased a fine blend of pace and movement. This was rather evident from the way in which the dancers swayed to the swalkattu (Indian classical dance beats).

The same group of dancers performed three styles of dance – Indian classical, folk and contemporary dance. A screen was used to showcase videos shot in various parts of the country, giving it a rather holistic visual experience. Not only were the movements choreographed to suit a particular rhythm, it also represented the emotional aspects of the several tales in the best way possible.

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From the director’s view

Aadhaarachakra was directed by Jayachandran Palazhy, a native of Kerala. A trained Indian classical dancer, Jayachandran said that the production revolved around the way the mind travels.

According to him, Aadhaarachakra, is an attempt to showcase how the mind oscillates between the past and the present, and between the past and the future, in order to make sense of the current time.

“In order to understand how the mind travels through time and temporal spaces, the scenes that were being shown on the screen, were filmed in various parts of the Northern and Southern India. It was shot at the Brihadeeshwara Temple, the Qutab Minar, etc. By doing so, we were able to weave sacred traditions of Islam and Hinduism,” explains Jayachandran.

Has Kerala truly opened up to such variety?

This was Attakalari’s second performance in Kerala. The troupe has performed across several nations including France, Czech Republicm and Malaysia. The response, according to the production’s director, has been fantastic.

When asked about the response to such forms of expression in a state like Kerala, he said, “I think, if people allow themselves to be taken on a sensory journey instead of looking for a literal narrative, then such works are bound receive a lot appreciation. One often associates memories and thoughts with a unique musical note, or odour,” he says.

He further added that many people have a gut-level reaction to new ideas. “This could be due to the fact that they are not given as many opportunities to observe or experience such variety. But when they do get more chances to do so, then it works in everyone’s favour,” he said.