When this concert was first conceived, everything and everybody involved were a little tentative. Though most were very familiar with Bharata’s Natyashashtra, on which the project was based, they were unsure whether so much could be successfully combined in just one concert. Yet the belief in Kazi prevailed and the concept was approved.
The Centre’s vision was to present the seven diverse styles of classical Indian dance, combining and utilizing the three main styles of classical Indian music: North Indian or Shashtriya, South Indian or Carnatic and traditional music of Kerala, called Sopnam. But it was Bharata’s celebrated Asthanayika, presenting eight different moods or bhavs, which gave Kazi the essential unifying thread to weave the artistic tapestry together.
Among the classical dances presented were Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Bharat Natyam, Mohini Attam and Kathakali. And, as many as seven reputed dancers were used to present the eight Nayikas, backed up with a team of reputed and experienced musicians, singers along with an experienced choreographer, all working under Kazi’s direction.
These dancers were not just experts in their chosen genre; they were also open to innovation. One of the highlights of this concert was how each dancer presented one Nayika in her chosen style, but the Abhisarika was presented by all seven dancers, giving the audience a rare comparative experience of how the same bhav or emotion were presented in seven different styles.
When it came to the opening lines of a special antara and the closing verse in the form of an epilogue, all seven dancers were on stage together and a choral effect was created by several voices singing in unison, creating a magic beyond compare. For Viewing Semi-professional recordings of that remarkable event are enclosed for reference.