16 March, 2015
Ardhanari – Where totality lies beyond duality
While the conception of Ardhanarishvara may have been inspired by Vedic literature's composite figure of Yama-Yami, the Vedic descriptions of the primordial Creator’s duality, it is the complexity of the subject that inspired Parvathi.
Kalaimamani Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala belongs to an illustrious family of genius musician-composer Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao. Though a privilege, the expectations are high. The Bharatanatyam dancer-teacher has created a space that is her own in the artistic realm, and is content experimenting within that realm. One such experiment was the production Ardhanari.
“The concept of Siva and Shakti being one half of a whole, and complementing one another, lends itself to the Bharatanatyam idiom,” says the dancer.
Premiered in the Margazhi season of 2011, its popularity is widespread till date. The many prestigious venues where the production has toured are its proof.
Parvathi possesses the unique ability to identify talent in children and to effortlessly mould the young ones into able performers in their own right. Parvathi sees no age barriers and has had many with a love for dance enter its’ portals and blossom into capable dancers. The production showcased many talented danseuses in varied roles giving them the opportunity to make their mark. “At the same time, the group cohesiveness in maintained to project a unified image,” opines Ramapriya, a student of the institution.
“Stepping into new arenas is what keeps Parvathi on her toes. Be it designing costume or choosing the sets or coming up with novel ensembles, Parvathi finds every aspect challenging, and creatively fulfilling,” encourages Ravi Ghantasala, her loving husband.
The children learn a lot through these productions, and they need to, because they are the future,” opines Parvathi
The production is an amalgamation of music and dance in praise of both Shiva and Parvathi. In today’s way of life, where there is more importance given to women’s equality, Ardhanari serves as a reminder that even at the level of Gods, Man and Woman are one and the same, that there is no Shivan without Shakthi and vice versa. The ballet is brought forth through exquisite compositions of Adi Sankara, Kalithogai, Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Tulsidas, Kalidas and King Shahaji beautifully orchestrated to bring out the essence of the duo.