Dance of the earth

We can make a difference

 On March 21st, under the Nritya Katha – International Ballet Festival, the Sadhya group presented a dance ballet titled ‘We can make a difference’ at the Kamani Auditorium. The performance was choreographed by Santosh Nair. Through contemporary dance and music, the performance talked about enhancing our relationship with the earth, with one another and ultimately, the world. 

Santosh Nair’s journey as a dancer began under the blessings of his father Shri Kalamandalam Padmanabhan in the year 1986 as a Kathakali dancer. He also trained in Kathakali under Sadanam Balakrishnan. He learnt modern dance with Shri Narendra Sharmaji of Bhoomika Creative Dance Centre. He trained in Mayurbhanj Chhau under Guru Janmey Joy Sai Bahu. With his roots in traditional dance and experimentation with contemporary dancing, he has evolved his own style of dancing which is varied and energetic. He has been performing and choreographing dance pieces in a most innovative and moving manner.

The performance for the evening was ecothemetic. Humans have interacted and changed their environment to suit their needs. Initially, this change was unintentional and essential to survival. It was only to make survival easy. But this need gradually changed to greed. The changes in the environment accumulated and became so drastic that they have come to threaten the very survival of the planet and the species on it. So the need of the hour is to sustain without threatening the future, and this theme was very sensitively handled by Sadhya. Mankind should undo the harm done so that the hope to make a difference is strengthened.
The performance began with a  movie by Teri on climate change. The dancers appeared as trees in green costumes. A 3D screen gave a wonderful effect of greenery. The trees are laden and are enjoying the rain, soaking it in. Suddenly, robot-like men chop them off. Industrialisation is ruining the environment. The dancers dressed as the sun and the earth showed a relationship between the two. This part of the choreography was beautifully executed. But this romance does not last forever. Raging fires burn down the trees, with a lot of smoke rising from the forests. On the other hand, the land is flooded by torrential rains and raging rivers. What is left of the trees are stumps, depicted through the tattered costumes of the dancers. If we realize the devastation being caused, we can make a difference before it is too late. We should not be materialistic and harness the forces of nature in an eco-friendly manner.

The conceptualisation and execution were beautifully done. The costumes of the dancers were beautifully designed, especially for the dancers depicting the Earth. The dancers had a lot of grace and poise and the choreography was perfect. The message was very sensitively conveyed.