Footsteps on the sands of time along a colourful journey
Third of Three Parts
Wenceslaus Anthony –
Collaborative works of Ratna Venkat
Some examples of her cross-cultural collaborative works include ‘Indo-American’ at the Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee (2013), ‘Indo-Oriental’ at the 103rd National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Celebrations in Auckland (2014) and ‘Lavni-Jazz Rock’ at the ‘Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards’ (2014).
Since the beginning of this year, I have seen Ratna combining her varied talents, presenting her concerts that uniquely highlight her skills as a dancer, actor, speaker and presenter. She says that she owes this combination to the Kathak recitals that she presents at a number of events. She is now keen to showcase her South Indian dance forms with a descriptive format.
“People have responded well to my Kathak recitals. They love the way I interact with the audience, explaining various aspects of Kathak and the story of each dance piece before performing it. I thought I should apply this concept to my other dance styles too,” says Ratna.
Mega Concert 2016
Apart from performing at a number of cities, events and concerts, Ratna is preparing for her new solo dance concert titled ‘Life in a Full Circle,’ scheduled to be held on April 9, 2016 at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School in Auckland. The concert, supported by businesses from both sides of the Tasman, will be set to live music and dedicated to the art of Kuchipudi, focusing on the ‘Full Circle’ theme and reflecting on the dance’s past, present and future.
The show will also feature Ratna’s journey as a Kuchipudi dancer and the many life lessons that this art has taught her.
“By explaining the story behind each dance piece and sharing my thoughts with the audience, I hope to stir their minds to question their own beliefs and the journey they undertake in their lives,” she says.
Ratna’s reason for spotlighting Kuchipudi on the world stage is to promote the beauty of this rare art and make people aware of the differences between Indian classical dance styles.
“Most people, including those from India, assume that all Indian dance forms are the same. In fact, each classical style is different and Kuchipudi especially has its peculiarities not found in any other performing art. Therefore, I feel it’s my duty as an artiste to shatter certain stereotypes,” she says.
The ‘Life in a Full Circle’ concert will entertain and educate the audience, and Ratna is confident that the younger generation will be inspired to propagate this art and carry its subsequent messages into the future.
Wenceslaus Anthony is the Chairman and Managing Director of WAML Group with interests in many countries including New Zealand, Australia, India, Sri Lanka and the Middle East. The above is the third and final in a series of three articles, which appeared in ‘Indus Age’ Australia, reproduced with the permission of the publication.