Lifestyle Books and Art 21 Nov 2018 Dynamic meditation o ...

Dynamic meditation on Laya

Published Nov 21, 2018, 12:44 am IST
Updated Nov 21, 2018, 12:44 am IST
The idea behind Dhimahi was fitting different compositions in 5 different talas.
‘Dhimahi’ dancers during rehearsals
 ‘Dhimahi’ dancers during rehearsals

After ‘Chaturvidham’, the festival on rhythm, Madurai R Muralidaran, artistic director of Nrithyaksethra Dance Academy, is preparing up for three-day long chain of margams starting from November 23. ‘Dhimahi: Dynamic Meditations on Laya’ to be staged, will have five creative Bharatanatyam margams created, composed and choreographed by Muralidaran.

The idea behind Dhimahi was fitting different compositions in 5 different talas. “I want to stage all the 35 tala Margham before 2020 and this has been my long-time dream”, Muralidaran shares cheerfully recalling his 45 years of experience.  


“I have presented 15 complete repertoires in  Bharathanatyam in many different talas so far. Along with ‘Dhimahi,’  I will be finishing 20 full marghams in 20 different talas which is going to be first of its kind in the field,” he adds while talking on the theme of Dhimahi. 

The troupe of dancers is going to enthrall the audience by their performance in ‘Dhimahi’ at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha choreographed by Madurai R Muralidaran and Chitra Muralidaran together. The team of artistes comprises Kavya Muralidaran, Varshini Arumugam, Rashmeta Sai, Adithi, Ananya Venkatesan, Saankhya Venkateshwaran and Vrithi Arvind. The evening will also welcome short performances by guest artistes — Jayakrishnan, Lavanya Sankar, Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Srekala Bharath and Uma Murali.

Madurai R Muralidaran, the composer, musician, dancer and director, believes in presenting complex concepts with simplicity in a way that it reaches the common man while gaining appreciation from the connoisseur. Muralidaran has, in over a decade now, composed complete margams in 35 unique talas of the Carnatic Sooladhi Sapta Talam system, over 120 varnams and jathiswarams in all the 72 Melakartha ragas. Keeping in mind the ecosystem supporting Bharatanatyam today, and the required infrastructure and capability to present such margams on a large scale, 15 of the 35 have been presented and staged across India. Chaturvidha M, in his latest festival on rhythm featured four of his disciples presenting four unique margams set to a rare ‘talam’.

In addition to the uniqueness, he has composed many numbers in rare ragams which includes Chandrajyothi, Ganamoorthy and Madhyamavathi. ‘Kavithuvams’ on Nandi, Iyappan, Thiruvenkata Kavithuvam, a composition will be among that.

Muralidaran shares details on his upcoming choreography with DC.

Q. How different is Dhimahi from your earlier production, Chaturvidham?
Soolathi Sapatha tala contains 35 talas and I have presented 4 different tala’s in Chaturvidham i.e. Sankeetana Dhruvam, Chatusra Ata, Sankeerana Thruputa and Misra Jempa.  I am presenting five different here - Sankerana Matyam, Tisra Dhruvam, Chatusra dhruvam, Kanda Dhruvam and Kanda Matyam. Each one is different in its own way because the theme, tala, ragam and many innovative things are coming up.

Q. Were there any challenges during composition and choreography?
Of course Yes. The biggest challenge I would say is taking up these 5 Talas and composing the 25 Jathis just for the varnam, 30 chittasvaram, 5 Thillana, and 5 Jathiswaram. I have to teach the same to the Mrudangist and then the vocalist and other musicians like Flutist, Veena player etc. Finally when I end up recording in the studio, the software they use wouldn’t have such beats like 11.14.20 or 17 and 13. 

The choreographer and team want audiences to watch 5 different Pushpanjali’s ‘Alarippus’, ‘Jathiswarams’, ‘Varnams’, ‘Padams’, ‘Thillanas’ in 3 days. “It’s a rare chance for the young budding artists and students to learn something and take back home from our presentation”, he says.