Basant Bahar 2014 : “Panchabhootham- The Five Elements of Nature in Harmony”
By Neetu Rajpal
For more than a decade, Hum Sub has celebrated the glory of spring, by presenting Basant Bahar. It occurs in the March/April timeframe and is a spring cultural program featuring local talent. We usually have an audience of around 450 people in attendance. This program is a prequel to our main event in the year in the October timeframe. Basant Bahar benefits the youth and the Triangle gets to experience Indian culture through artistic expression and the performing arts.
This year’s Basant Bahar celebrated on March 9th, 2014, the Spring event of Hum Sub, was set around the theme of “Panchbhootham- The Five Elements of Nature in Harmony”. Basant Bahar presents a tribute to an Ancient Indian Cultural ideology ’Panchabhootham’, that all of creation, including the human body, is made up of five essential elements of nature ie. Water (Jal), Fire (Agni), Earth (Bhoomi), Air (Vaayu) and Space (Aakash) and in the end they dissolve back into these five elements, thereby balancing the cycle of nature. The choreographers and the performers presented their interpretation of these five elements of nature to express their creativity and talent.
The two hour program started off with the traditional invocation to Lord Shiva, who is the Lord of all five Panchabhootas, and is believed to have first manifested himself as a Jyothirlingam. A Jyotirlingam, which is a devotional object representing Lord Shiva, means the ‘Radiant sign of The Almighty’. The Rayudu’s School of Performing Arts presented a beautiful Kuchipudi dance that portrayed the importance of the temples.
Next, Lakshmi Chellamani’s students performed the Raasa Leela-a divine dance of love – of the Gopis for Lord Krishna, of the atmas in all beings for the Paramatma. In the melodious, harmonious dance of the Raasa Leela, Lord Krishna takes many forms to make each Gopi feel special and loved.
It is not often that one gets to see the dance styles from the North Eastern states of India. So it was a rare glimpse into the folk traditions of Assam as Nilakshi Phukan and her team of energetic dancers welcomed spring to the beats of the dhol.
A musical performance was presented by Geeticharcha Musical Group to celebrate the earth – an unique creation of God with kshiti (soil), Op (water), Tej (fire), Maroot (air), and Vyom (sky).
Another was an instrumental ensemble by a young quartet that infused the evening with the flavor of western classical. The group picked up some western classical and contemporary pieces by famous composers to showcase the theme of “Panchabhootam”.
Ramya Kapadia beautifully choreographed a dance to depict Apah: water – soft in form, yet infinitely strong, like a woman.
This was followed by the delightfully choreographed fusion of traditional Kathak and Folk dance of ‘Oorja: From black hole to intelligent life’ by the dancers from the Naach Masala group . This depicted the evolution of life from energy.
The Kalasrishti School of Performing Arts presented a visual tribute to Lord Shiva where he is worshipped as fire and space.
Sridevi Jagannath’s students linked imagery, movement and music along with various colors and contents to depict Agni, Vayu, Jal, Shunya and Prithvi.
Cary Arts Center once again played host to an event that added yet another colorful episode to the vibrant multicultural milieu that Cary is fast turning into. The Mayor of Cary, Mr. Harold Weinbrecht was in attendance at the event and was delighted to see the creativity and the talent that was presented during the show.And Hum Sub once again heralds in Spring with an amazing display of local talent with its Basant Bahar 2014!
Choreographers’ efforts of working with the teams for months on preparation leading towards the event truly showed in the quality of the program. They showcased varied repertoire of dance and music that included variety of themes performed by fewer individuals to larger groups in different age groups with both male and women alike representing a huge diversity. The program’s grip on audience was such that they were riveted into their seats throughout the two hours.