What would one ideally expect from a dance production titled Tales from the Bull and the Tiger? Surprisingly, it turned out to be a classical dance production with a futuristic touch.
Led by the Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant and her disciples, the production started with the entry of the ‘bull, tiger, peacock, and mooshika’, which comprise a part of the Lord Shiva’s family. As it progressed, all elements of nature namely the earth, water, air, fire, and space formed part of the dance, with the majestic mountains of Himachal Pradesh projected in the background.
Mithun Shyam from Bengaluru and Ananda Shankar were seen in the lead roles as Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati respectively in the Shringara Rasa element. This was followed by some tender scenes depicting Goddess Parvati and her children dancing in joy as they learnt about the glory of their parents.
Mithun Shyam presented a vigorous energetic dance set to the famous song Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Swayam Bho. The whole universe and all the living beings on mother earth were then seen coming in and merging with the glorious dance.
The highlight of the production, however, was the ‘Cosmic dance of Nataraja’, with motion graphics created by city graphic designer Gunjan Ashtaputre in its backdrop. “My wife Aditi Rao has been training under Ananda Shankar for 14 years now. During our discussions, we considered the possibility of integrating mapping projections with the production. Ananda liked the idea. The challenge in such a production, however, is ensuring that the background image syncs with the audio and the movements of the dancer,” Gunjan said. As the production moved into its last segment, Ananda portrayed Parvati singing a lullaby to her children. The finesse of her expression while trying to put the naughty children to sleep was portrayed beautifully and earned a fair amount of appreciation from the scholarly audience. The lighting design by Gyan Dev and costume design by Ganesh Nallari added unmatchable aesthetic value to the well-choreographed production.