Three seasoned dancers, Rama Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam), Prerana Shrimali (Kathak) and Madhavi Mudgal (Odissi) recently participated in an experiment where they choreographed solo performances for each other, introducing elements of one dance form into another.
The resulting performances are now being showcased in "Parkaya-The body of another," currently being played out here in a three-day event that is scheduled to end on January 9.
Rama Vaidyanathan says she conceptualised the idea almost three years ago and Prerana and Madhavi joined her in this collaboration.
"I wanted to see the varnam being performed by a Kathak dancer or an Odissi dancer and when I approached both of them, they agreed. They said that they would also like me to do their signature pieces, Thumri and Pallavi", Rama told reporters.
"The challenge is to imbibe and absorb the other form while retaining your own. It must not look like an imitation", says Prerana.
The Kathak dancer says being habituated to spontaneous performances she finds it challenging to mould her dance into the strict structure of other two forms.
Prerana has choreographed a Thumri for both Bharatanatyam and Odissi dance recitals to be performed in their own form's language.

She says, "Kathak is open- ended and spontaneous whereas the varnam in Bharatanatyam is one of the most complex dance forms and one has go through each and every step patiently and memorise it by heart."
Similarly, Rama, a seasoned Bharatnatyam dancer said she had to leave behind the precision of her form and absorb the lyrical movements of other two forms.
"Bharatnatyam is very precise and geometrical whereas the Pallavi in Odissi is water-like, free and flowing", Rama says.


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