Duet With Spanish Jazz Guitarist Chema Vilchez (2007) At the invitation of the Spanish Cultural Centre and Embassy of Spain, an evening saw the jugalbandi between Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan and the Spanish Jazz Guitarist Chema Vilchez that resounded with virtuoso performances by the two artistes.
Yearwise Summary of Items and Productions
"Begum Hazrat Mahal" The year 1857 was momentous in the history of Indian Independence movement. Several freedom fighters laid down their lives for the cause but among them were few persons who could not even get their 2 yards of land in their home country for their burial. Among them were the deposed Mughal Emperor Bahadurshah Zafar and Begum Hazrat Mahal, wife of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh.In the year long celebrations marking the 150th year of the 1857, Shovana Narayan was the only classical dancer to have attempted a ballet on Begum Hazrat Mahal, which was staged at a overflowing hall and most receptive audience at Talkatora Stadium on 9th May, 2006 before an audience of over 3000 people that included several political stalwarts. It received great response from one and all.
Programme for Tsunami Relief and Affected Families: The social consciousness of Shovana again became very visible when she, along with Naresh Kapuria, organised the the first endeavour of artistes of Delhi for helping affected families of Tsunami.
"Ko'ham" (Who am I)- Search for identity: Changing roles of the Indian women International Women's Day is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of forbearance and courage of every woman. While celebrating her virtues, this day also provides scope for introspection and awareness for anticipating all future obstacles and struggles. Experiences of women through the ages, searching for her identity, were movingly encapsulated by Shovana in the dance production 'Ko'ham'.
"Anu-Gati" based on Laws of Physics For the International Conference of Physics, Shovana was required to stage items that clearly brought out various Laws of Physics. After several brain-storming sessions with Dr Pratibha Jolly, Physicist and Shovana's own Physics background, a novel production resulted that not only mesmerized the audience but also brought full wholesome critical praise from the gathering of senior level Physicists from all over the globe.
"Ma Sharada" Sharada devi, spiritual counterpart of Sri Ramakrishna of Dakshineshwar, was a unique personality. By installing her on a pedestal meant for the Deity, by invoking the divine presence in her, and by worshipping her as Mother Goddess, he raised her to the level of Goddess. With this, Sharada rose above normal desires as she accepted the virtuous life ordained by Sri Ramakrishna. Her maternal instinct and solicitude knew no barriers or bounds, transcending caste, community, colour and creed. She was unprecedented phenomenon considering the time that she lived in and the rural background that she hailed from.
"KL Saigal: The Artist and The Man" The evening resounded with nostalgia as nverses of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah (babul mora naihar chooto ri jaye) and Ghalib (Nuktachin hai game dil, Aah ko chahiye) that were Saigal's favourites filled the air.
"RhythmIc Echoes & Reflections" (Jan 2003): MEA film with duets and trios with Tap dance, Spanish Flamenco dance and Western Classical Dance
The phenomenal success of "The Dawn After" motivated a young film maker, Naresh Sharma, to make a short film for Ministry of External Affairs on such an international collaborative experiment reflecting universality and globalization of spirit. The musical score was predominantly taken from The Dawn After while the title of his film was borrowed from Shovana's book on Kathak, a Roli publication.
Duet with Spanish Flamenco Dancer Omayra Amaya, Guitarist Pedro Cortes from Miami, Spanish Singer Julio Gabber (April 2003) The overflowing Ashoka Hotel Theatre resounded with the combined strains of Flamenco and Kathak of Omayra Amaya and Shovana Narayan in one of the most mesmerizing evenings that the capital had ever witnessed in recent times. Features of both styles, melodic and movements, were carefully interwoven to form one seamingless whole. Shovana and Omayra together began unfurling their arms and swaying their bodies to the meditative notes of the Vedic chant that melted into the somber and profound Cante Grande and Cante Jondo. The solo pieces saw the passionate rhythmic patterns and emotional outpourings in respective styles that finally merged into a climax. `The finale was joy de vivere with jugalbandi in footwork â€“ Kathak complicated and exciting panorama of 'tatkar', 'laris' and 'tihai's' in various 'jatis' to Flamenco's steady beat of loud hand clapping, building up to a passionate fierce footwork, at times accompanied by the sound of the castanets and graceful arm movements.
"Mirdad: A Light House & Haven" Scripted by Dr Gita Dhwan, this production, based on the book "The Book of Mirdad" which is an allegorical book of philosophy by Lebanese author Mikhail Naima, a close friend and biographer of Kahlil Gibran, revolved around the 'ego' factor present within man. This production replicated the series of dialogues between Mirdad, the abbot of a monastery and his disciples. Through legends being narrated by Rustadian, who sees the immense 'I' present in Shamdam and his meeting with Mirdad, a mysterious stranger visiting the remote mountain monastery of the Ark, he eventually becomes a teacher to the nine chosen Companions including Shamdam. The theme exhorted the casting away of materialistic desires, mindless and empty practice of religious rituals and called for unity among different groups of people in the universe emphasizing the true joy of universal love.
6th Abilympics Shovana was the Creative Director and choreographer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 6th Abilympics 2003 held at New Delhi that featured over 600 'specially abled children'
"Colours of Qutab" (2002) with Spanish Flamenco dancer Ivan Martin Barroso, Qutab Festival In the duet performance of 'Colours of Qutub' by Padmashri Shovana Narayan and group and Ivan Martin Barroso (Spanish Flamenco) in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy, the sound of footwork in both dance forms 'Zapateado' in Flamenco and 'Tatkar' of Kathak intermingled in the festive atmosphere of Qutab.