“It’s not just dance. It’s about understanding oneself and provoking onlookers to look into their own minds,” says Mayuri Upadhya, the artistic director of 'Nrityarutya', a contemporary dance company in the city. These pioneers are gearing up to showcase the fourth edition of their home production, Prayog, which reflects the vision of the company — to make short, thematic, experimental and philosophically deep dance pieces.
“This edition includes three performances; Matsyangana, which explores the six enemies within us — lust, anger, attachment, greed, pride and jealousy — portrayed through mermaids. 'Chakra', choreographed by Satya BG, speaks of music in a way that modern man can relate to it. Trishanku is the solo piece that deals with a heavy character from Indian mythology,” says Madhuri Upadhya, who has choreographed two out of the three pieces. Taking a gestation period of around three years, Nritarutya expects to put up a well-rounded performance; since Prayog will also travel nationally and internationally.
Vishwa Kiran, who has been practicing since January for his solo performance, says Trishanku is not just a performance; he’s going to be reliving everything he has done for over a year, on stage. “Trishanku is a character from Hindu mythology, who wished to ascend to heaven. But since he was a mortal, he couldn’t go to heaven. Guru Viswamitra, however, built a heaven for him, between heaven and Earth, where he was suspended, upside down,” shares Vishwa. His performance involves a lot of airborne activities and also includes a piece choreographed by Guru Kiran Subramanyam. The music for the piece has been composed by Raghu Dixit.
The entire crew has been immersed in drawing parallels between modern day and the mythological ages. “They have been conditioning their body and mind to get into the character’s skin, through martial arts, yoga, Bharatanatyam and even musical training. They have even read extensively about it. It has been a huge learning experience,” says Mayuri. The dancers believe that Bengaluru is the capital of contemporary dance, but is yet to gain enough support, especially for experimental artistes. “Prayog is a melting pot of experimental artistes! It’s hard to get support. But we are privileged about having performed for Mr Bachchan and also in front of the Queen of England. The scenario is definitely improving,” concludes Mayuri.