Dancer Vidya Pradeep: Everything can be attributed to the struggles of Chithrangada
was the princess of Manipur and she fell in love with Arjun, one of five. Although a warrior himself, his love for him has been an example of love and for over a century, the one-act play of his story has become a very beloved literary work in the country.
When the dancer recently translated it to Thiruvananthapuram, probably for the first time through mohiniyattam, it realized a long-awaited dream for the artiste. Vidya, a disciple of well-known dancer Neena Prasad, says, I remember reading Chithrangada while I was in college. From that moment on, I wanted to show it through mohiniyattam and for a long time, about 10 years ago, I worked on it as well. However, things do not fall into place to reflect this. But recently, when art doyen Soorya Krishnamoorthy offered him a platform to showcase the new festival at Soorya, Vidya knew it was Chithrangada's time.
After the team's 70-minute performance choreographed her, Vidya said the positive feedback made her proud. My teacher Neena Prasad said that Chithrangada's two personalities, as a warrior princess and a love struck by a beautiful woman, were shown skillfully by mohiniyattam, even though it was an event (no change in costume) ) nritham.
How does one fit the story of a Manipuri prince in the mohiniyattam format, with many such limitations? Vidya says, Regardless of the setting, anyone anywhere can relate to the trials and tribulations he has gone through. His main work ethic and role is also connected to the audience, so, that's not a problem.
Getting the right lyrics for Chithrangada was in his mind though a challenge. Writer and former civil servant K Jayakumar sir helped me with this. I told her the way in which I wanted to show her, and she wrote the appropriate lyrics. Once I achieved it, it only took me an hour and a half, ”says Vidya. He also mentioned a group of Thiruvananthapuram-based dancers named Art Infinite who supported him in the group project.
The 35-year-old from Haripad has been a disciple of Neena Prasad since she completed her Class 10. Vidya, which is part of most of her teacher's works like Seethayanam, Sakhyam, Kani Kanum Neram and more, thanks to the experience of helping him work together like Chithrangada. That's a source of confidence, says Vidya, who also presented a thematic performance entitled She the Sanhi that featured a lot of women's feelings for Women's Day in 2019. The concept called Natya Yoga, which she developed to yoga-nutritionist Uma Kalyani is also popular among dance and fitness enthusiasts.
His upcoming project is titled Glimpse of Travancore. It will feature various heritage sites in the city including Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kanthalloor Sala, Kilimanoor palace and will be displayed through many art forms such as bharatanatyam, kathakali, kalaripayattu and more, he noted.