Odissi production Mystery of Chakras has audiences in a spin

Dr.Sam Goraya's 'Mystery of Chakras' performance was an energising, electrifying and slightly meditative experience in itself. DEEPA GOPINATH writes.

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According to Tantric traditions, chakras are said to be the focal points of meditation within the human body, where a number of meridians of energy converge. Dr. Sam Goraya’s Mystery of Chakras, which toured Australian cities last month, was aptly named.  Not only were audiences treated to thought provoking scientific explanations of the flow of spiritual energy within the body, but to watch the performance was an energising, electrifying and slightly meditative experience in itself.

Before the dancers graced the stage, Gomeroy Newman opened the evening with a thank you to the traditional custodians of the land as well as a beautiful didgeridoo performance.

Goraya was accompanied by young dancers Samir and Kunal in this Odissi gem. Samir and Kunal were mesmerising in their flawless technique, deeply engaging facial expressions and vibrant movement. While each piece of the five-part repertoire was unique and impossible to tear the eyes away from, Ardhanarishwara Stotra was one piece that lingered in the psyche long after the show was over. In this piece, Samir and Kunal showed the two contrasting yet complementary sides of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

The two dancers intertwined and placed steps in perfect synchronicity, thus mimicking the interplay between masculine and feminine energies. At times they moved as if one entity, coming apart seconds later to show the separation of the two beings. Ardhanarishwara Stotra was in itself enough to put aside an evening to watch these captivating dancers.

Another number Panchakashra Stotra was a piece that represented five of the chakras. Together, the three dancers wove in and out of characters and abstract dance, telling stories that link to the chakras, and further explaining spiritual concepts. While on the topic of abstract dance, Samir and Kunal presented Pallavi in a delightful display of crisp footwork and flawless lines that was a touch of lightness amongst the profound themes of the other items.

Also worth a mention was the first item Kshadadhar Mangalacharan which was an exploration of Goddess Parvati’s fierceness as well as femininity. A beautifully choreographed and executed snake scene at the end of this piece was an excellent taste of what these three wonderful dancers are capable of.

Mystery of Chakras by Sam Goraya and his students Samir and Kunal is unmissable for those interested in the Australian-Indian dance scene. Spiritual concepts were explained and portrayed with superb technique, engaging expression and electrifying movement. Each moment of the show was an example of the incredible talent of the three Odissi dancers Sam, Kunal and Samir.

Check out Sam Goraya’s work in Odissi dance on www.samgoraya.com.

(PHOTOS: RAVINDER SINGH JABBAL)