Tehreema floors her audience

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by JANA, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. JANA

    JANA Regular Member

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    From among the dance doyennes of Pakistan, Tehreema Mitha has not been in the limelight as the others despite being superbly skilled at her craft. The reason perhaps could be that she moved to the US 13 years back to start her own dance company, and visits Lahore off and on for teaching purposes and dance tour trips.

    A dance performance by the artiste was recently held in association with the Lahore Chitrkar at the Ali Institute of Education, titled A Tribute to Indu Mitha on her 80th Birthday. Despite her age, Indu who is Tehreema’s mother, continues to teach Bharat Natyam to amateur students and outreach communities. The performance by Tehreema, her only professional student, was well-received. The programme included six short performances, three of which were classical and the rest contemporary.

    It was pleasant to see the event start on time, the well-mannered audience and the highly aesthetic stills of Tehreema and Indu outside the venue and around the stage. Also spotted was Faryal and Madeeha Gauhar with Ajoka artistes, Nighat Chaudhry and the popular actress Samia Mumtaz (of the ongoing TV serial Meri Zaat Zarrai Benishan).

    For the typical Pakistani majority that relates dance to filmi sleaze and commoditises women, watching Tehreema could be a tutorial on dance as an art form by a self-assured woman. This was no dainty, painted doll following music with rhythm.

    She rose above the music, the audience and the ambience to become larger than life with her dance moves. Despite her delicate frame, her henna-dyed hands and adornments, she moved with rhythmic force, exuded energy and was in total command. She spoke her mind through her body movements and it was a treat to see her classical performances of Bharat Natyam and Bhopali Tilana as she followed the vocal chant of the raag with her feet and arms, and the manjira with her neck. The Bharat Natyam was adapted to Pakistani taste and was softer than the full-blown traditional Indian style; for which the credit goes to Indu.

    Few people know that Indu is the only Bharat Natyam teacher who composes songs in Urdu, and has taken the dance form beyond the traditional Hindu epic narration. Her father, Gyanendra Chatterjee, was the president of G.C. College Lahore and she defied her family to marry Abu Bakr Mitha who then served in the army. Despite the strict ban on dance in the Ziaul Haq era, Indu continued to teach dance at elite schools and to the wives and daughters of army men as the family was posted from one base to another. All three classical performances were choreographed by Indu.

    The contemporary dance performances were conceptualised thoroughly by Tehreema. One could see the innovations she has brought to dance by making it a language without words. The first performance of this genre was called Khala (Running out of Empty). It depicted emotions to do with heart-wrenching sadness, grief, depression and death of a woman who apparently has it all, and yet commits suicide.

    The second, Khabt Savaar Hua, was a jolly sequence of a woman trying to read a book with a mosquito buzzing around.

    She first tries to swap it with her feet, then her hands and then goes ballistic trying to catch the winged culprit.

    The third and final performance, In the Spirit of Things, was about two women reacting differently to a heap of stones. While one sees it as a venerable mound, the other feels the spirit of the heap and gets overwhelmed by the experience. The programme ended with a standing ovation to the talent of Tehreema Mitha.


    Dawn
     
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  3. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Bharatnatayam in Pakistan! Never heard of it.

    Good to see some people still embracing their ancient heritage while most are trying to fake themselves and become something they are not.
     
  4. JANA

    JANA Regular Member

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    If you read the entire piece you might get the idea but only if you read it without your coloured glasses of hate. Atleast take some positive things as it is.

    And btw Art is no body's commodity so no one can claim the only right over art.
     
  5. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hold your horses. There is no hate here. It is a true comment. Most Pakistani are trying to get away from their Hindu heritage and culture. Too many even fake their descent.

    I will avoid getting into that here. This news is indeed a small but positive news.

    Agree. This is obviously South Indian art form. We are happy to let Pakistanis enjoy it as they enjoy our movies and other cultural products. The issue is only when they come back and abuse the same.
     
    enlightened1 likes this.

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