Adirohana - The Ascent - Back Stage
60 mins, 1998
Anita Ratnam speaks on the work:
It was in 1998, that I felt the urge once more to claim solo space after working for over 5 years with
a group," stated Anita. "I wanted the right subject that would reflect the changes in me as a
woman and a dancer and could capture simple movement of total expression.
For me, it was certainly a feeling of liberation, of joy in the creative process, breaking away from
the old shackles that had bound me down as an artiste.
The work will appeal to any classical audience, with its rich Sanskrit text, sonorous use of
nadaswaram (like the clarinet) and tavil (South Indian temple drum) in the music and the beautiful
evocations of the divine goddess through bhakti and tantra.
As a dancer, this work has been a turning point because it has got me very interested into Tantric
studies which is older than our Vedic studies. This is a source which treats man and woman as
equal. I am in the process of learning mudras in Tantric worship which I hope to incorporate into
Although the dance and choreography has been completed, its still making me re-investigate the
source… I find the urge to layer/deepen the choreography. It is no longer the elements or the
chakras that need focus. “Adhirohana” needs a fuller prologue to explain its abstract nature and I
am exploring the work anew. It is leading me to another dance based on just hymns and chanting –
I find the power of the Sanskrit chants so moving. “Adhirohana” has triggered this wonderful
interest in me.