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NEELAM...Drowning in Bliss - Credits
A solo by Anita Ratnam
75 mins, 2006
Inspired by the silent corridors of Vishnu temples in South India, NEELAM illuminates the many shades of devotion and worship to the Lord. From the voice of 7th century poet saint Andal, through the passionate tones of Saint Annamayya in the 16th century, NEELAM finally rests upn the undiluted adoration of Muthuswami Dikshitar in the 18th century. The dance presentation explores the concept of "prapatti" or total surrender which is unique to Sri Vaisnavism. The choreography draws from the ritual movements of the 'Arayer' chanting priests and the iconography of Vishnu"s various avatars.. The costume highlights the concepts of "jeevatma" and "paramatma"- the male-female duality that upholds Vishnu as the only masculine presence or "Purisha" and all humanity as the feminine principle. The recorded score and sound design resonate this quiet devotion with the Carnatic music structures of Kritis, ragam. tanam and pallavi.
NEELAM premiered on the sacred day of Vaikunta Ekadasi nine years ago in Chennai and has been performed to wide acclaim in India and the USA.
Concept, choreography, performance: Anita Ratnam
Choreographic consultant: Hari Krishnan (inDance, Canada)
Music design: Anil Srinivasan, KSR Aniruddha
Voice: Sikkil Gurucharan, O.S.Arun
Sacred chant: Pradeep Chakravarthy & Revathy Sankkaran
Costume & visual design: Rex
Lighting design: Victor Paulraj