Yesterday a friend from my dance group sent us a Youtube video of a popular show [India’s got talent, similar to America’s Got Talent] and with a jobless afternoon brewing, I went ahead and clicked. With just the visuals, I sat and watched in complete enthrallment for the 3 minutes it took for this group to present Hinduism’s most enacted, most read and discussed fundamental concept, in a unique contemporary way!
The ten Avatars have been visualized and shown in various art forms. Dance of course is vibrant and immediately attractive: a tenacity that draws in the audience, something only few other artforms offer. As far as I know, almost ALL of the eight classical dance forms of India [Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Manipuri and the recent addition Sattriya], have a traditional well established dance piece that is based on the 10 forms of the Lord.
Apart from the triumph of good over evil that is displayed in each form, when the Lord comes to rescue the world and its citizens, the Dasavatarams also show evolution of the species as Darwin proposed.
This video however focused on the artistic ability to portray the same story that’s been told symbolically, with gestures, expression, drama and story-telling so far. It was contemporary in the way it was portrayed, the costumes (or lack thereof) the music, the visualization and enactment lifted these 3 minutes and separated them from all else done before!
The co-ordination, the fluid movements and the quick changes, and the final execution of the act, as much as it comes with years of practice and just being part of a troupe, this group shows an individual dedication in excellent cohesion.
Saw a couple of their other performances also on Youtube, and truly, they not only are worthy of a well deserved applause and win, but more exposure and success!
Enjoy, and if you are seeing it for the first time like me, I hope you are blown away too!