Uttar Dakshin is the solo performance of city-based of Kathak and Bharatanatyam dancer Ponnamma Devaiah. She will showcasing the Indian epic, Ramayana using two classical and powerful dance forms Kathak and Bharatanatyam.
Ponnamma first entered this industry due to her father AS Devaiah who believed in her abilities and introduced her to this magical world of performing arts. “This production is a tribute to him, and it marks the 25th anniversary of his passing. While pondering on what to do on this special day, my husband reminded me of the fact that I have knowledge in two diverse styles which can be showcased.” Ramayana has been performed several times before, but Ponnamma wanted to add her unique touch to it. On why she selected the name Uttar Dakshin, she explains, “Ramayana is supposed to have happened in North India with Rama and his brigade coming south in search of Sita. I chose Bharatanatyam which is from the south and Kathak which is from the north, making it a full circle.” In this show, she will be presenting from the birth of Rama to his coronation in Ayodhya. She adds, “My aim is not to only make it profoundly artistic through movement and expressions but engage the audience in a richer performance with costumes, makeup, lighting design and music. They will witness beautiful choreographies of highly acclaimed dancers Madhu Nataraj from Bengaluru and Shankar Kandaswamy from Malaysia.”
Ponamma started dancing at the age of five. She has trained in Bharatanatyam for over three years and Kathak for over 17 years. On whether it was difficult to shift between the two forms while preparing for this show, she answers, “Kathak is more fluid with stunning spins and footwork while Bharatanatyam is more athletic and powerful. Both, however bring drama, and are perfect for storytelling. Dancing solo on both forms is difficult but I see it like a form of devotion,” she explains. She feels that the city has nurtured some excellent dancers over the years. “I’m a purist and I believe in maintaining the integrity of each dance form. Despite being in a world of remix culture, I just hope that the purity or basic essence of the classical dance form is maintained and passed on to future generations. She plans to tour different cities and countries with Uttar Dakshin.
The performance is on September 20 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall....