We don’t choose dance but the dance chooses us, as dance is a manifestation of higher energy – Hari Chethana

by Ekatmata Sharma
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Renowned Kathak Duo Hari and Chethana share their story of coming together for their passion and their undying love for Kathak.

How did you both come together?
Life has been focused on dance from childhood, initially trained in bharathnatyam both under different gurus and then we were initiated to Kathak.We consider our gurus as the blessing of our lives. Destiny has brought us together. It was like coming together of creative minds. With each passing year, our training progressed and our thirst for knowledge grew sharper. Being together has brought depth in understanding the Art. A fine blend of classical rigor and technical virtuosity characterizes our dance. To pass on this rich legacy we have received from our Gurus, we have established The Noopur Performing Art Centre. Here we train disciples in achievement of true classical excellence.

You both have learned Bharatnatyam and Kathak, what makes you inclined towards Kathak?
Our belief in divine energy has always proved that what destiny plans is always higher than what we plan, we don’t choose dance but the dance chooses us as dance is a manifestation of higher energy. Kathak has chosen us, we wish that this energy spreads enormously and benefit the mankind. We consider our soul is in the path of spreading this divine energy.

You have performed internationally, how challenging is it to keep the Classical form and still attract audience in today’s modern time?
Over the years, classical dance forms in India have undergone multilayered evolution, surviving the onslaught of time and cultural shifts, while also scaling new heights. Innovation within the dance form not only prevents redundancy, but also adds new dimensions to the art. It is challenging but not difficult, we have conceptualized our performance in a way that the audience can relate to it more easily and understand our concept through our choreographies and music.

What do you have to say to the young classical dancers who are struggling hard to keep a balance between the western and classical dance forms?
There is equal importance and opportunity for both western and traditional art forms. Artists should always keep in mind the reason why they have chosen the art form, it is their passion alone so they have to follow their passion  and practice and work on their passion consistently and not think of the end results as it will exhaust them even before they work. Keep the basics and discipline of the dance form intact and dance from your souls the world is big enough to balance all art forms.

What would you be performing at the Maha Shivratri festival?
Our presentation will starts with A Shloka “Kasturi Tilakam” from Sri Krishna Karnamrutham, a string of Bhakthi laden poems offered at the sacred feet of the Lord. The author of Sri Krishna Karnamrutham is Bilva Mangalar followed by the pure dance elements such as tukudas tihais, ladi which is set to teentaal. Moving on to a Jugalbandi which will be a dialogue between both of our footwork with the percussionist. This transcends to a vibrant sargam in raag Malhar expressing the happiness in the monsoon. Which later Moves to Madhur Madhav -This is a composition of the great Kerala King and poet Swathi Thirunals compositions, in Raag Brindvani Sarang – Krishna’s relationship with Radha has served as a model for male and female love in a variety of art forms. Radha’s love for Krishna and their relationship is often interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. This love is the highest form of devotion. We will conclude with Shivanjali the main piece of the evening which is woven in Raagamala where lord shiva is worshiped through our dance, seeking liberation.

Hari and Chethana will be performing at the 3rd  Edition of Maha Shivaratri’ Festival ( In Ode of Lord Shiva ) on 4th March 2019 between 7:00 PM- 1:00AM at ‘Raja Radha Rangmanch’ Natya Tarangini’s Amphitheatre, Saket, New Delhi.

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