SIX young dancers have come together to make a difference. They want their initiative titled, ‘Alekhya, Spilling Ink’ to be more a revelation than dance. Alekhya : Spilling Ink is an international collaboration of dance theatre. This production celebrates Prof. Sudharani’s 60 years of dance
It all started when Vijay Palparty, a Indiaborn, US-based classical dancer and writer, who after attempting to understand the relationship between art and God, wanted to know if dance should confine itself to representing only mythology. “”My intent in launching a project like Alekhya was to think outside the box,” said United States-based Vijay Palaparty, project lead, dancer and writer. “The Indian classical arts, both performing and visual, are so sacred – often recounting stories of gods and goddesses or praying. In writing the script, I explore the journey of the individual within the religious traditions and also view the work from the perspective of how creativity itself, at even a basic level, could be a form of prayer.” Vijay says.
His reasoning influenced five other individuals and thus Alekhya was born.
The rich classical dance and music traditions of South India, overlaid with poetry and theatre in English will serve as the basis for the world premiere of ‘Alekhya: Spilling ink’, which will be held on November 23 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore at 7.00 p.m.
While Vijay operating in the US conceptualised the production, choreography is a combined effort of Coonoor based Nalini Prakash and Chennai based Padma Raghavan, affiliated to Shree Bharatalaya, a dance school run by Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy.
“The entire process was through phone calls and internet. The team has now got together face-to-face for a few rehearsals before the show” says Nalini Prakash. She adds, “US based theatre artist Jennifer Schaupp from Pittsburg will string and link the compositions through artistic journey, reading poetry written by Vijay and she will be the voice of the dancers”.
Jennifer Schaupp is a 2003 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a freelance writer, theatre artist and teacher from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As part of Alekhya, Jennifer works to guide the audience on an artistic journey, reading poetry written by Vijay. She will serve as the voice of the dancers.When you spill ink, you do not know how it will fall, what shape it will create on the ground or how it will flow. This is exactly how a dance form is. It is free and unbound, and that is how the name ‘spilling ink’ came.
Chennai dancers Ashwini Viswanathan(disciple of Jayanthi Subramaniam) and K. B. Madhusudhanan (Kalakshetra graduate) join these dancers on this show.
The whole production is in the traditional margam formatwhich includes a jatiswaram, varnam and tillana comosed by late vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan, apart from a song on Lord Shiva and a song by Subramania Bharathi. The show premiers on Nov. 23 at 7 pm. At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, East Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai – 4
Sources:( with inputs from chennaionline, Kutcheribuzz, New Indian Express and Hindu)