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Kala Ghoda- Sonal Mansingh

I went to Kala Ghoda in severe conflict about what to see and what to do. This was one of the time when you feel like having a few clones and catch the whole show. But friend Ajita won, and we headed for Horniman Circle gardens to attend Sonal Mansingh’s Odissi performance.

The evening was cool and breezy, the gardens were filling up fast. We could see the patron Goddesses of the event, Brinda Miller, Devika Bhojwani and Sarayu Doshi flitting around, getting show started.

The ceremonial Lamp refused to stay lit. Finally the lamp was announced as “lit” behind the shelter of a file, and the show started. And what a show it was!

I was all prepared to give a nod to Culture and then rush over to watch Soparkar’s Troup “Dancing in the streets “. But that was only till Sonal started her first piece, devoted to Goddess Maatangi, the patron goddess of all arts. From now on “Bhavani Dayani” will always look like Sonal.

There was something of a sybil in her whole persona. Her goddess was not an ethereal being, soft and delicate. She was ageless, wise, compassionate, wrathful, powerful and sexy. A Mother personified every which way. She could vanquish the demons, and lift the mountain. The music, the shadows and Sonal’s body language, all added to the effect. I went ahead to sit on the ground right in front of the stage, catching every nuance every expression emanated by Sonal.

Some one had once told me that to understand space one must learn to dance. It wasn’t quite clear to me, till I watched her dance. Spaces kept shifting and changing as a pint size Waman, grew up to cover the earth and the sky in two steps and she effortlessly covered the entire stage.

Sonal took us through the age old stories of Krishna Leela and Geet Govindam. But for me the show had ended with Sonal as the Goddess Maatangi / Durga.

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