sufikathak

DANCE OF MYSTICS

A unique concept by Manjari Chaturvedi, for two decades, this explores the feminine in Sufi poetry as depicted by Sufi mystics for their beloved, the Almighty.

Dance of the Mystics by Manjari Chaturvedi brings out the nuances of spiritual music and poetry through the language of body, which expresses the rapturous heights of spiritual ecstasy. The abstract presence of the Almighty is given concreteness through its being the prime focus and object of one’s rapture for the dancer. The dance thus becomes a communication of the Self to the Almighty of the union that is desired between creation and Creator, or soul with Spirit.

Bred of Manjari’s knowledge and experience, her dance melds the philosophical depth of spiritual poetry with the narrative beauty and grace of classical Indian dance forms to evolve a new school of performance that uses classical dance to narrate and interpret spiritual poetry. Manjari’s dance spans from the earthly romance of Hindi folk to the evolved mystical imagery of love in Persian poetry, from a beloved in flesh and blood to the abstract presence of the Almighty, from a form to formlessness. Making her dance, the Dance of the Soul. While in existing classical Indian dance forms there is a focus on a beloved in flesh and blood, in physical form, it is the abstract presence of the Almighty that becomes the focal point in her dance. Akin to the moving meditation in mystical traditions, the unique dance by Manjari Chaturvedi is representative of the great spiritual traditions of the subcontinent.

Manjari, in her peerless journey, seamlessly blends her dance with diverse cross-cultural music in exciting collaborations. She was trained in classical Kathak dance of Lucknow Gharana, and then subsequently learned the nuances of other classical Indian dance forms – the base being the Natya Shastra – that is followed by all classical dances. Manjari trained in abhinaya learning the nuances of the use of mudras from the Bharatanatyam genre to enrich her dance.

Through more than a decade of Manjari’s dedicated endeavors, her dance, now, has its own visual entity separate from other Indian classical dance forms. The poetry is separate, the use of language, the use of movements, the music genre to be used, the costume & jewelry, and the aesthetics are all specific for a mystical dance for an abstract presence.

Manjari’s dance transcends all religions to become a link bridging God and the devotees; taking one far away from materialism. It is synonymous with serenity, piety, mental peace, and divine power, which is a symbol of truth. It is attracting the new generation at the international level, breaking barriers as an example of unity in diversity.