Temples to the Courts

In response to Temple & Court, performed at Southbank Centre as part of the Alchemy festival 2011.

Temple and Court was an event that investigated Indian Calssical Dances with talks, performance and film from both British and International contributions. It explored the journey of two of the most prominent Indian classical dance genres, Kathak and Bharatnatyam, from the Temples to the Courts.

There were guest contributions from Guru Padma Sharma, Pushkala Gopal, Kathak dancers courtesy of Ankh at Encee Arts, Payal Patel, Seema Patel, Dhruti Dattani, Jesal Patel, Trishna Champaneri, Falguni Upadhyay, Shivani Sethia, Seeta Patel, Vanathi Bosch and Sri Thina.
The event started with a Ganesh Vandana ( a prayer to Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed God ) sung beautifully by Pushkala Gopal and performed by the Ankh Dancers and Sita patel and Sri Thina.

This was followed by a detailed introduction of the event by Mavin Khoo, who then went on to talk about the origins of the two dance forms in the temples and how it was used as a medium by the temple dancers, mainly Brahmins, to depict the various leela’s (pastimes) of the Gods and Godesses. This
introduction was supported by Guru Padma Sharma, who performed the kathak thumri ‘Sab Ban Than Aayi Shyam Pyaari Re’, an expressional dance, depicting the devotional love between Radha and Krishna. This was followed by a similar demonstration by Mavin Khoo in the Dance form Odissi. As the event progressed so did the journey of the two dance forms, from the temples to the courts, and at each point of progression the guest contributors gave demonstrations of how the dance forms began to evolve. There were also clips from movies to depict the era during the 1970s and 1980s when these dance forms were festival majorly used in films.

The event ended with Mavin Khoo talking about how they would continue to explore the theme of Temple and Court during next years Alchemy. So if you’ve missed this one then make sure you’re around next year, to continue on this journey from the Temples to the Courts.

by Puja Mistry, Alchemist,

One Response

  1. Hi, Pls Pls give me the lyrics of kathak thumri ‘Sab Ban Than Aayi Shyam Pyaari Re’. Plssssssssssssss

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