Dancer Leela Samson has a new production; NADI – the river.
Here is what Leela has to write on it:
The river has been the very source of life. From Sufi fakirs in the North, to Baul singers in Bengal, to Sangam poetry and the great classical composers of the South – an ocean of poetry was inspired by the river.
Nadi seeks to explore the love and longing, the physical changes and the deep philosophy of the river, through these centuries-old voices.
Nadi is a selection of poems from six Indian languages. The musical expressions vary from a well-known traditional dadra of Varanasi and Rabindranath Tagore’s (1861 – 1941) poetic expression in Bengali, that reflects the soulful music of the wandering Bauls; from a 2 to 300 year old bandish said to be written by Ustad Taanras Khan (as a duaiyan nazm) on Hazrat Khizar in Urdu, to the chaste expression of Dikshitar (1775-1835) and from classical Tamil Sangam poetry (c. 400 BCE to 300 CE) to a modern-day Girish Karnad writing in Kannada for the play 'Hayavadana'.
Every poem selected has a different visual and sound scape. These varied compositions are thread together by a modern day genius composer - Rajkumar Bharathi, who has retained some traditional tunes, has recomposed others and attempted a dialogue between Carnatic and Hindustani sangeetam. The music in Nadi represents these several philosophies, languages, poets, musical genres and instruments that are typical of the area where the poetry was written.
The music has been recorded, mixed and mastered by Sai Shravanam in Chennai with the best musicians of each genre participating in this truly national production.
Nadi premieres on Dec.31 evening at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.
Leela's dance group, Spanda performs also on Dec.25 at Krishna Gana Sabha, T. Nagar themed 'Antarang'. On Jan.3, she dances at The Music Academy.