Natyavismayam: A Unique Dance Recital


‘Just like the dance cannot be separated from the dancer, neither can the creation be separated from the creator’ - Param Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar ji

Thiruvananthapuram, the evergreen city of India, was enthralled by a rare dance recital, as more than 150 traditional Kathakali dancers, displayed grace and perfect coordination, while performing at the Natyavismayam, to the music of famous Kathakali musicians accompanied by percussionists on traditional instruments.

The dance, which was choreographed and led by distinguished Kathakali doyen Ettumanur Kannan, exhibited the essence of Art of Living’s meditation and devotional mood through well defined rhythmic movements, characteristic of Kathakali, and mudras (hand gestures). All the five different veshas (make- up) - pachcha, kaththi, thaadi, kari and minukku- famous in the Kathakali form of dance, were adorned by the artists. Even as thousands of people gathered at the venue to witness the grand spectacle, groups from around the world watched the webcast.

This unprecedented event in the history of the art form was organized by the Art of Living, in its aim to revive art forms and culture across the world. The event is a part of the 30 years’ celebration of the organization, which is to culminate in the World Culture Festival in Berlin on 2nd and 3rd July, 2011.

"We are trying to express the subtle nuances of dhyana (meditation) through existing mudras of Kathakali. It is an attempt to interpret dhyana as Art of Living is also basically a form of dhyana. Through dhyana, the mind gets peace and can be purified. A mind with evil quality can be ultimately transformed into one with virtue with the help of dhyana. That is the message of Natyavismayam," team leader Kannan said.

The function was presided over by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, humanitarian leader and the founder of The Art of Living. He honored eminent Kathakali exponents Padmashri Madavoor Vasudevan Nair, Kalamandalam Gangadharan, Kalamandalam Raman Nampoothiri and Kalamandalam Narayanan Nair after the performance.

Guruji has emphasized in various gatherings that a meditative mind is the perfect field to sow the seeds of dynamism and peace, catalysing the transformation of those present into agents of positive social change - change from corruption and scams that are eating away at the roots of this country. During the event Guruji encouraged everyone to work towards a slum-free and scam-free country and urged them to take a pledge against bribery. "Spirituality gives you a sense of belongingness, honesty, love, friendship. Thus the spiritual power eliminates corruption," he said.