Duration: 25 minutes
Poetry : Rallabandi Kavita Prasad
Jathi Composition : IV Renukaprasad
Music Composition: S Venumadhav
The Simhanandini is a rare and unique dance form, from the traditional and ritual repertoire of Kuchipudi.
Dedicated to the Mother Goddess, or the World Mother, who quells all evil, by going to war riding a lion, this item celebrates the victory of good over evil, of life giving energy over the dark forces.
This form of dance was practiced in the 14th & 15th Century when the ritual, religious and cultural aspects of one's life coalesced and merged seamlessly. It is said, that on the day of Vijayadasami, on the day of victory after the Nine days of war waged by the Mother Goddess, worshippers; drew the picture of a lion - the vehicle of Goddess Durga, in front of the temple chariot.
As part of Shankarananda Kalakshetra's, revival of ritual series the Simhanandini, dance presentation , has now been recast and recreated. The Simhanandini, is set in six talas or rhythmic cycles - Chanchatputa, Ratitala, Darpana, Kokilapriya, Abhanga and Mudrita Tala, all adding up to the Simhanandana tala of 128 syllables or counts. To these talas are performed rhythmic footwork, alongside verses and abhinaya in praise of the Mother Goddess.
The final obeisance to the deity is made by the dancer, by drawing a picture of a lion, the vehicle of Goddess Durga, while using her feet, to the mnemonic syllables and the melodic fervor of the poetry. The drawing emerges as the dancer moves on a white cloth, over a carpet of coloured powder on the floor.
Conceived, choreographed and performed by Ananda Shankar Jayant.