Nirvaya – Dissolving in Divinity

"I looked for my body, but
it was hidden within the Linga
I looked for the Linga, but
it was hidden within my body
I looked intently at the Linga within me
and saw a great Light."
~ Hadappa Lingamma (Vol-5, Linga-anga, verse 1247 ) translated by Basrur Subba Rao



" The Sharana on the mountain tip
is like the light set on the door sill:
he knows inside, he looks outside
he knows, he forgets
he sees, he does not see
he transcends subject, object and knowledge…"
~ Hadappa Lingamma (Vol-5, verse 1297 ) translated by Basrur Subba Rao



Nirvaya is inspired by the profound & abstract Kannada Vachanas or poetry of the 12th women mystics called Sharanes

Dance and original photo art merge and sometimes move parallely whilst translating the profound concepts of 3 lesser known women mystics- Lingamma, Muktayakka, Molige Mahadevi & the radical poet Akkamahadevi. Their philosophy is Linga- advaita or monistic Shaivism, with roots in the Vedas and Kashmiri monistic Shaivism.  

~ Madhu Nataraj

When Madhu sounded off the idea behind Nirvaya, six months back, I was so taken by the idea and the abstract-ness it presented. I like to work with fluidity and abstract thoughts through certain phases. I like to watch them grow, take form, unite, disintegrate, and come back together at some unexpected point in time. Besides, the idea of exploring the thoughts and profound poetry by the lesser known 12th century women mystics from Karnataka was divine. So I jumped at the opportunity and we started working not knowing where the collaboration would lead us. She would create the movements and I, the visuals along with other incredibly talented artists bringing in the major pieces such as music, vocals, stage design, film and costume.

Somewhere we would all surely meet as we had done in our past collaborations, with the process itself being a testimony to the soul of Nirvaya.

Madhu Nataraj, my dear friend is a great dancer who is known for her pioneering presence in the dance scenario, internationally.She will be presenting Nirvaya as a part of the "Mad & Divine" conference at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Chennai on Friday, the 23rd Dec 2011. Please do come if you are in Chennai.


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