The dance cover ‘Ta Dhom’ brings together Bharatanatyam dancers across the globe to fight fears over the current crisis
: Lado musibaton ko maardo sab saare… there are thousands of difficulties but you kill them with your art… that’s the essence of a dance cover ‘Ta Dhom’ released on YouTube and garnering attention. A popular rap fusion by Viveick Rajagopalan that featured the band Swadesi, ‘Ta Dhom’ now got a dance spin.
The video has the dancers — though basically performing in Bharatanatyam style — bringing in dance forms like Whacking, Tutting and Kalaripayattu to make it racy. The dancers — students of Bharatanatyam exponents Rajeswari Sainath and Vyshnavie Sainath Yagnesh, live in different cities and abroad, and performed out of their living rooms, terraces and even car parks.
Conceived by Rajeswari, the idea was executed by Vyshnavie who involved all her students and coordinated the entire process. The editing was done by Rajeswari’s student Sanjana Umesh, a student in the UK.
Speaking about what prompted her to do this video, Rajeswari says, “There’s so much panic and fear regarding COVID-19 pandemic, and I could see everybody’s so worried about it. Then I thought we should do a video through Bharatanatyam to show how dancing calms us down. I discussed it with Vyshnavie and she took it forward. I give credit to all our students — the younger generation truly knows how to apply ideas to situation. ”
Adds Vyshnavie, “This project ‘Ta Dhom’ represents unity and strength during the toughest of times. Tough times won’t stop us from fighting! We tried putting that message across. We have combined many dance forms and mum helped with the rhythm part.”
Vyshanvie took up the task of assigning different portions to the dancers and invited them to choreograph as well. “Me and Vyshnavie were particular that through our art form, we should depict the intensity and the mood of the situation and display our strength to fight this pandemic. We wanted to be more desi, without frills, which means even if it takes us beyond the boundaries of Bharatanatyam. After all, art is meant to represent a situation. I strongly believe in communicating this way,” adds Rajeswari.
“Everyone shot on their phone,” reveals Vyshnavie, “It was like a family project. Students choreographed. Parents became the art director/ camera persons. Some of them placed the camera and shot it in reverse camera mode as nobody was there to shoot for them. I asked them to emote and bring out whatever is going on in their minds. As and when they sent videos I kept sending them back with my feedback trying to change here and there. We had some fixed choreography in parts and a little space for their creativity. One of the girls used this new style called Whacking along with Bharatanatyam.”
Apart from Rajeswari and Vyshnavie, the dancers who appear in the video are Hiranmayi Koka, Jayalakshmi Narayanan, Srujana Valiveti, Keerthi Valiveti, Shreya Vishwani, Sanjna Umesh, Sahana Umesh, Taruni Sanjay, Keertana Kannabiran, Bhavana Gowri and Supriya Krishna.
(The dance can be viewed on Vyshnavie Sainath’s YouTube channel)