At the annual dance gala held by Kala Ashram, something else replaced magic wands
They can make you levitate, go in a trance, wear invisibility cloaks and if you please, simply rip the wind as you fly past it. They are also known as ‘Ghungaroos’ and the way some avid students and artists of Kala Ashram College of Performing Arts used them at Nand-Gunjan 2017, they seem to hold the powers of a Potter’s wand, only if you know how to move them right.
April 29, the day when dance aficionados all over the world commemorate Jean Georges Noverre, France’s noted Belle and Dance Guru, turned out to be a Hogwarts-at-party this time in Udaipur at RCA auditorium. As soon as the programme started, petite-looking kids alighted on stage and in a matter of five minutes smashed every notion of their ‘tiny-ness’. They left a seismic impact on the floor and beyond as they gradually ascended the complexities and nuances of Kathak in an enthralling performance. In fact, some parents, struggling as they were to spot their wards who arrived after a complete-makeover accomplished with costumes and the new skin of being on stage, got lost themselves in the performance – relishing and wondering who exactly these new magical, working-precisely-together-as-a-machine, super-confident creatures were.
The spell of Morphosis-Maximus had been cast. Before they could exhale, the Ghungaroos changed the seats into flying brooms yet again. Soon Shudh Kathak and Sargam ensued and people were uncomplainingly transported into the unadulterated joy that only dance and pure passion can stir our souls into. Hypnosis-Utteri left everyone lulled into a state of blissful getaway as music and the sound of unrelenting feet made it possible to forget the world behind, at least for a few minutes.
Pt. Birju Maharaj’s compositions, Contemporary pieces, Sufi-medleys, Radha-Krishna narratives and more followed thereafter. It was a bit of confusion though. How can ecstasy and meditation happen at the same minute? Can you fall asleep into the lap of peace and yet feel like you are on the top of the world? Can Kathak intersect smoothly with modern music? Can Sufi intoxication indeed be put into vessels of ‘Todas’, ‘Tihais’ and ‘Tatkaars’? Can multiple dance and music genres co-exist in a beautiful ocean where it is hard to point out which stream came from where?
Yet, here it was: The power of Eden-Totalis as versatile arts, music forms and dance styles dissolved together in a beautiful concoction of Dance that 90 enthusiasts were working all the year along for, at this Ashram. Dance – that not only makes one express the unsaid boundlessly, but also liberates, soothes and massages the human spirit that we often forget to tend to as we walk the treadmills of daily lives.
As Director Dr. Saroj Sharma captures it well, “Dance is never just dance. It’s always something more. It is the ‘er’ between happy and happier, between calm and calmer, between okay and better. It’s all about finding the rhythm that’s always throbbing inside us, around us – alas, we often forget to pay it the little attention it deserves. It is always flowing inside our blood vessels, pulse, nerve and spirit. We just need to rediscover the magic that all of us were born with.”
So yes, Potter missed the party. Or who knows, he was there, hidden behind a curtain too – looking for a new instrument to say ‘Alohomora’?