Learning Mars

Company dancer Abhishek Singhania reminisces his experience of learning Mars, one of the most acclaimed choroegraphies from Nritarutya.

 

A year after I joined the company, I started learning “Mars”. The piece choreographed by Sathya BG is the one of the most popular and technically demanding work. This very fact made me conscious as it was on me to live up to the standard that a dance piece of such reputation demanded.

The initial process started with knowing the thought behind the sequence – that of exploring the masculine sexuality and mood. The piece has undergone quite a bit of changes as it has progressed like every other dance sequence. The very thought that an Indian dance company would explore sexuality excited me and prepped me up for the learning process.

The first challenge was rhythm. The piece utilizes different rhythmic sounds in a novel way. Sathya loves to play with the cycle of patterns and this made it a tricky thing to master. Couple this with a prop that challenges your balance, Mars was a lesson in time, space and balance. Not that the steps came in easy to a body trained in Jazz, Ballet and Bollywood funk. the language of dance used is so true to “Nritarutya” roots, the placement of technically tough steps ont an even more tougher rhythmic pattern was a task in itself. If I have been able to achieve half of what was expected of me, I’d like to share the credit with my fellow dancers who have been patient in teaching and correcting me. Not to forget the choreographer’s easy going nature and clarity of explanation.

The show day for the industry giant Mindtree saw a little excited, little nervous, little confident and little unsure Abhishek putting his all into a dance sequence he has come to admire. And if I’d allow myself to be a little boastful, I think I pulled it off quite well (at least better than I had expected for myself!)

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