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Fabulous fusion of Japanese poetry, Indian dance

Fabulous fusion of Japanese poetry, Indian dance

Author: Staff Reporter
Publication: The Hindu
Date: February 19, 2008
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/19/stories/2008021956300600.htm

Fumiko Chandramouli presents lines from nine poems of 'Manyoshu'

She presented the white snows of winter; the delicate pink Sakura blooms of spring; the red heat of the summer and the yellow leaves on the rivers in autumn in poetic fashion.

Dressed in a traditional Kimono, dancer Fumiko Chandramouli presented lines from nine poems of the 'Manyoshu' using Bharatanatyam mudhras and movements.

This she presented to the accompaniment of flute, violin and veena. She literally lit up the Sunday evening for those present at the Narada Gana Sabha with her piece specially choreographed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Indo-Japan Cultural Treaty.

"I like the Manyoshu, which means 'collection of 10,000 leaves' and is one of the oldest existing collections of Japanese poetry. These poems have been written by people of all walks of life, right from the Emperors to the common folk. I wanted something special for the occasion and also chose a special fusion of Japanese poetry and Indian dance," she said, adding, "And the four seasons are something that everyone understands. I chose Bharatanatayam movements because I thought it would be easier to convey the message to Indian audiences." She also presented a traditional Bharathanatyam performance with a Pushpanjali and Varnam.

Ms. Chandramouli, who has graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo with a degree in philosophy and literature, said she wanted to know more about the dance after watching a video clipping about Bharathanatyam. "I was impressed by Bharathanatyam's strong movements and also its similarities to Japanese dance. The low knee and the straight back postures are two common things in both dances." She has learnt Bharathanatyam from different gurus including at Kalakshetra and from dancer Krishnakumari Narendran and is now learning under Indra Rajan.

The Consul-General of Japan in Chennai, Kazuo Minagawa, watched the performance. Educationist Kumararani Meena Muthiah and dancer Sudharani Raghupathy felicitated the dancer.

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