Updated: Apr 15
Legendary Indian Guru Shovana Narayan ji was nothing short of electrifying in the finale of her performance at Civil Service Officers' Club in New Delhi on Saturday evening.
'Traya,' an hour-long, livestreamed show (www.csoi.in), showed us glimpses of three Devis, and of Shiva himself. As the Guru explained, it is impossible to think of Shakti without Shiva. Indeed, the composition on Shiva performed by the Asavari troupe was sharp and evocative.
Guru Narayan's climactic finale was undeniably the pinnacle of the show. The Guru chose to dance to a poem, but her dance, too, seemed like poetry. She first illustrated the onset of fear due to the pandemic; then made a call to her audience to invoke inner strength, gratitude, joy and hope.
The dance that accompanied her call for happiness, with the lines "Kavi, Tum Aisa Geet Banana," easily overshadowed the first half; the Guru dispelled the darkness on stage, as well as in the hearts and minds of anyone who watched her magical Kathak therapy on stage.
The best piece after the maestro's was the duet by students Kartika Singh and Komal Biswal preceding the Guru's finale; for its spontaneity, energy, synergy, expertise, charm, and grace. It was beautiful to see that all of the students of Asavari showed a clear and identifiable stylistic influence of Shovana ji through sheer movement, sans introduction.
The versatile Padma Shri awardee switched between her roles of being the performer to being the Guru. She was the masterful narrator unveiling the thinking and depth underpining her choreography.
Asavari troupe gives us hope for a beautiful future of Kathak marked in the style of Shovana Narayan ji, with sharp, powerful strokes; thunderous, informed and evocative in quality.
There is no match for Kathak Guru Shovana Narayan ji. ●
📷 CSOI Livestream