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Durable Link to this BlogWednesday, October 17, 2007

Peacock Dance at Krishna Kalpa

Activities at Kamat Community Center

A Library cum community hall is built at Honnavar in memory of late Dr. Krishanand Kamat to promote cultural activities, Named "Krisna Kalpa"(wish fulfilling Krishna) it was inaugurated in January of this year by the seer of Udupi, Shri Swamiji of Pejawar Math. A Rangoli competition was held for women in March attracting several women of all ages. All programs and the reading room are free of rent to the people of Honavar.

It was a pleasant surprise when a boy named Mayur approached requesting for the hall for his dance-recital, Mayur means a peacock in Sanskrit. Peacock is proverbially famous for rain-dance. It is believed to be the harbinger of rain and peacock-dance in its folk, traditional and classical form is popular throughout India.

Mayur (16) is a 12th standard student and son of Mr. S.K. Mari Naik and Mrs. Vijaya Mari Naik of Honavar. He has been learning Bharatanatyam since the age of five from D.D.Naik, a high school teacher and dance-master. In India learning of art is not very much encouraged because these have no commercial value. Dancing is an expensive hobby, involving music, singing, costumes in addition to rigorous training over the years, with no returns.

In cities like Bangalore dance schools run by famous masters are common, like the Keshava Nrityashala. Hence it was happy news that a small place like Honavar was nurturing the dance-art and this boy-dance-master had trained a band of kids between the age of 4-8 years. Their team and individual performance was fixed at Krishna Kalpa.

Bharata Natyam is perhaps the oldest dance form in India. Ascribed to sage Bharata, the earliest compilation of his treatise on science of dancing belongs to 1st century C.E. through each regional variety of Indian dance, like Kathakali, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi etc, Bharatnatya has its basic principles in the Natyashastra of Bharata. Southern India has retained many of the earliest traits described in Bharata’s treatise with regard to music, signs, body language, musical instruments, stage decorum, costumes and other repertory.

Mayur is extra-ordinarily talented. A brilliant student academically, he has studied, Hindustani classical music, and Tabla.

He wants to become a doctor or Indian Administrative service Officer. But his first love is dance and wants to do doctorate in Indian classical dance.

His parents and especially his mother Vijaya is throughout supportive. Dancing is a very expensive hobby hence Mayur started training youngsters in classical dancing at the age of 14. Today he is coaching 12 students between the age group of 4-19 years, which he says will reduce the financial burden on the family.

Mayur gave a graceful dance recital interspersed with short pieces presented by his kid-students. It was a feast to the eyes. In addition to cassette music, harmonium, tabla and cymbals were played by the local artists. Mridanga man was unavailable and Mayur had to manage with recorded piece. Mridanga is a must have instrument in a Bharatanatyam performance.

Mayur excels in the movements, subtle expressions and graceful mudras (dance-gestures). The team of children also gave a pleasing performance in their bits for which Mayur, himself sang and played tabla which was very good.

"Krishna-Kalpa" resounded with dancing steps and sweet accompanying music for nearly two hours, leaving sweeter notes in the ears.

Amma's Column by Jyotsna Kamat

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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