Contemporary steps and fusion music will cruise through body-energies with Bharatanatya, Kathak, Kalaripayattu, ballet, and hip-hop moves

A unique stage production that uses contemporary dance and fusion music is all set to take one through the evolution of human consciousness. The Chakras – Journey to Consciousness is an artistic interpretation of the vortexes that store, move, and circulate energy through our bodies,” explains Raksha Sriram who has conceived and written the piece. In esoteric Hindu meditation practice, Chakras are the focal points of energy in the human body that influence one’s actions and thoughts.

What is the meaning of life, how do I find my purpose, wondered Raksha a few years ago seeking answers to larger questions. One had to look intrinsically within. So, she was introduced to the concept when she started meditation under guidance. Struggling to interpret the abstract idea, she decided to experience the Chakras artistically instead. “I started to work through the various emotions the Chakras represented to create a narrative. Given my background as a dancer and visual artist, I have demystified this concept layer by layer,” says Raksha.

Dancer, actor, and filmmaker Divya Raghuram guided the team as the stage director, with principal choreography by Veena Basavarajaiah who had to come together with a team of movement collaborators, and performers including Ainesh Madan, Anishaa Tavag, Dayita Nereyeth, Jean-Rose Fladberg, Joshua Sailo, Paridhi Bihani, Sharanya Rao, Soniaponamma Deviah, and Swati Iyengar. “There will be eight dancers and five musicians performing live on stage,” says Divya.

The Chakras – Journey to Consciousness directed and created by Raksha Sriram at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Vyalikaval, 2019.

Speaking on the choreography that was paramount to the production, Raksha says, “We had audition workshops where participants were pushed to interact with different art forms. So each of the dancer collaborators have brought in not only their physicality but their emotional intelligence to the theme.” The production’s decision to use contemporary dance as the basis also has vocabulary from various traditional and non-traditional forms such as Bharatanatya, Kathak, Kalaripayattu, ballet, folk, and hip-hop.

Some soulful music has been created from the shared experiences of star musicians. Led by music director Ravichandra Kulur, the vocalists included Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, Varijashree Venugopal, Siddhartha Belmannu, and Maria Galenina along with percussionists Giridhar Udupa and Pramath Kiran with Varun Pradeep as a music arranger for compositions in Sanskrit, Kannada, Hindi, Farsi, and Ukrainian.

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This post was written by Ranjani Govind.

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