a dance theatre solo by Anita Ratnam
to ferocious, beautiful, graceful and powerful – all at once.
She is the
She is the
hand that gives, guides, nourishes, protects, reprimands, forgives and
She is radiance,
showering unconditional love…
She is everything,
and no one is separate from her.
She is the
God Mother Trinity Supreme.
- Knowledge Mother. Calling on us to awaken in wisdom, with the magic
of Her genteel Veena song
- Prosperity Mother. Her Lotus feet walking through our lives, leave
behind Foot Prints of Abundance.
- Warrior Mother. Divine Lioness, with Her battle-ready Trishul defends
to protect and saves.
She is energy,
exuberant in play. The joy of experience passed on generously from within.
She is a confluence,
a woman, owning her powers.
She is Matrika.
three times and more…
Ma3ka to all Earth mothers past, present and future.
gratitude and love, I welcome and channel three, who hold a precious place
in my heart, my wise grandmother Saraswati; my generous mother Leela and
my fierce daughter Aryambika.”
- Anita Ratnam
goddess that lives within us all
of the idea for MA3KA came from Anita. She was seriously interrogating
the matrix of India’s primary Goddess triad- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Initially it was to be a contemporary/ traditional musical, choreographic
exploration of the Divine Feminine, loosely tying into Anita’s previous
works on Goddess mythology, however with major rites-of-passage life experiences
in her recent years she felt driven to morph MA3KA into a parallel non-linear
storyboard of shifts in personal dynamics those experiences have wrought
personally with, within and without her being. Hence, MA3KA in her new
avatar will be a fluid, experimental, non-linear, abstract, modern, multi-media
dance theatre solo-work, layered on a rich tapestry of warm, nostalgic/familiar
traditional text and lyric based contemporary Karnatik music compositions,
essentially creating a synergistic marriage of the past, present and future.
A woman’s search for herself
allows for new directions.
the divine/human matrix is a unique interpretation of a woman as
the embodiment of the Goddess Triad and their personalities weaving her
into a harmony of
and thought. Anita’s grandmother, mother and daughter have been prime directives
for styling a non-linear narrative in ma3ka. She fuses vibrant theatre
with traditional and contemporary dance forms. The work incorporates trans-cultural
collaborations with dancers, choreographers, painters, writers, directors,
poets, musicians and designers, giving it a global aesthetic.
the culmination of Anita’s quest for a woman’s individuality, that started
with “Arya Tara” – reconciling with our inner goddess. Then came
“Daughters of the Ocean” – translating goddess myths into modern metaphors;
“Naachiyar” - exploring the life of the 9th century female mystic
Andal; “Utpala” – reflecting the metaphors of the lotus in three civilizations;
“Seven Graces” – abstracting 23 incarnation of goddess Tara; “Neelam”
- drowning in the bliss of LakshmiNarayana and “Faces” – looking into the
eyes of many women in the one. All of these works have been Anita’s personal
odes to the feminine persona.
Anita mines the deepest she has, within her own personal lived life experiences
- the travels, the travails and triumphs to share her most vulnerable self
with her audience.
grime and glory.
experience is impure, contaminated by personal ego and choices... and so
it is very difficult for me to say that MA3KA is something brand new and
a complete departure from my other works.. if anything, it is a catharsis,
a purging of the unnecessary, a return to the essence of innocence, to
the root of what it means to be a Woman- granddaughter, daughter, sister,
wife, and a mother - ferocious, protective, nurturing, mischievous and
- Anita Ratnam
will be a personal artistic milestone in both of our careers.
joy, honor, and the promise of adventure when embarking on our 10th collaboration
with the original, unique, gutsy, visionary Anita Ratnam.
choreographic métier will still retain the identifiable vernaculars
of Bharatanatyam’s various strains we seek to legitimately borrow from,
while erasing and /or pushing the borders of India’s other rich dance genres.
This complex Neo- Bharatam vocabulary will be infected/ inflected with
western contemporary dance movement accents as well to further incorporate
Anita’s truly cosmopolitan hybrid persona while reading the Goddess Feminine
in a more relevant original vein. The kinetic solo will challenge
the parameters of traditional narratives and allow us to explore new dimensions
showcasing its geometry and architectonics of movement. The aesthetic of
the visual design will be an intentionally unfamiliar marked departure
from the bane of the banal to palpably, powerfully anchor the dance theatre
solo-work.(One of the many true pleasures of collaborating with Anita is
the security of knowing that we can, in an artistic sense, jump off a cliff,
often without a parachute and still be almost certain the fall will never
kill us, it would either be a providential safe landing or only slightly
bruising!) Anita genuinely relishes the dangers of swimming in untested,
shark infested waters. She is one of those rare Indian dance icons that
will forsake the security of the expected beautiful luscious silk costume,
sparkling gold/diamond jewellery, impeccably idealised hair and make-up
aesthetics to foray into stark and de-constructed alternative options instead,
if it would underscore the intention of the work.
a new destination in our 11 year journey with Anita in a continuing collaborative
adventure. As a team, we seek to question and reassess our shared interests
in Indian Goddess worship, feminist theory, and womanhood. We dissect the
representations of the female body/mind/spirit in the evolutionary schema
of East and West binaries. Together we have created original works of performance
art that speak to Anita’s pioneering spirit and quest to archive a body
of repertoire investigating the life stories/songs and poems of Indian
women dance artists who while being constantly called on to channel The
Divine Goddess Feminine from without, also reserve and practice the right
to choose to walk away from this “rock of Sisyphus” and unchain the feminine
“goddess” within instead, warts and all…”
- Hari Krishnan,
Direction and Rex, Visual Design
when she wanted me to write the lyrics and to sing for MA3KA, I was thinking,
about Swetha, Padma and Shyama as The Divine Trio and did accordingly.
But Anita merged all the three into MA3KA!!The amalgamation is amazing.
When I start
researching for her projects either I would find the right
words or I would find a rare manuscript from which I would be able to select
whatever Anita had asked for!”
Sankkaran, Mentor and Guide