Over the past several years, Tarangini School of Kathak Dance has presented innovative productions such as Jeevandhara, which commemorated Rabindranath Tagore, Kathak through the Bollywood Lane, which set Kathak movements to songs from Hindi films, and most recently Yatra, which incorporated Kathak bols and movement into music from all over the world.
This year, Tarangini is showcasing the intricacies of Hindustani music in Ragangikam. Ragas are musical modes that evoke certain moods that correspond to various times of the day and seasons. Angikam refers to the dancer’s whole body. In this production, Artistic Director Anuradha Nag, has envisioned the dancers as embodying ragas corresponding to times ranging from dawn to midnight through the choreography—hence Ragangikam. Each piece is set to a different raga, progressing through the day in beautiful musical compositions such as alaap, sargam, tarana, and bhajan. This first half of the show features all the Tarangini students.
Chaturanga is the second half of the show, featuring Tarangini’s production dancers as well as Nag. The term Chaturanga refers to something that is represented in four different ways. Here four different aspects of a musical composition are represented. First is a khayal, a slow musical composition in Raga Marwa dedicated to the guru. The second item is a taal set in Raga Hindol, showcasing the 14-beat rhythmic cycle dhamaar. Third is thumri, which is a love song. The first thumri, performed by the production dancers, is a composition by Pt. Bindadin Maharaj depicting the basaksajjika nayika, the heroine who decorates herself while waiting for her lover’s arrival. The second thumri, performed by Nag, portrays the virahautkanthita nayika, the dejected heroine who waits fruitlessly for her absent lover. The show’s finale is a fast-paced tarana-tirwat, a musical composition in Raga Darbari, a late-night raga, showcasing Lucknow gharana technique.
Saturday, May 9, 5 p.m. Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. $18-$60. (650) 766-9965, (408)431-6588, (510) 396-2919. www. taranginischoolofkathak.org/home.html.