Mallika Sarabhai

Shut up & Listen- Dr. Mallika Sarabhai’s Ground breaking Dance Performance      

Her brilliance left us spellbound deconstructing the traditional dance form and infusing it with current affairs and her juxtaposition of Indian Carnatic with rapp music and Gully boys breaks all multisensory and multicultural barriers. It shatters all ceilings as she boldly says women are breaking all ceilings.

Dr. Sarabhai’s brilliance lies in her ability to deconstruct traditional dance forms and infuse them with current affairs, transcending cultural and sensory boundaries. Through her art, she boldly challenges societal norms, proclaiming that women are indeed breaking through every conceivable ceiling.

Using props to change the language-Dr.Sarabhai a shapeshifter. Photo Credit: Adrija Samal

Described as an “educated dancer,” Dr. Sarabhai’s mastery extends beyond mere physical expression; her performances reflect a deep understanding of the nuances of her craft. With her performance we take off on her journey, once through the roller coaster of gender inequality, classical allusions and sangam literature going back to Tagore’s “aaji jhoro jhoro mukhoro badoro diney”.

What sets Dr. Sarabhai apart is her willingness to embrace unconventional elements, seamlessly integrating elements of hip-hop and contemporary music into her Bharatnatyam routines. Her avant-garde approach creates a phantasmagorical experience, where each movement resonates with layers of meaning, from expressions of love to reflections on societal violence and global harmony.

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During her recent performance, the audience was transported into a multidimensional musical experience, where every beat and gesture spoke volumes. Dr. Sarabhai’s ability to navigate through diverse themes, from the divine dance of Shiva to the power of the human voice, reflects her versatility and depth as an artist.

Dr. Mallika Sarabhai at GD Birla Sabhaghar for Past Forward Photo Credit: Adrija Samal

Throughout the evening, Dr. Sarabhai’s performance served as a poignant commentary on the struggles faced by women, from societal expectations to patriarchal structures. With each graceful movement, she challenged norms and encouraged viewers to confront uncomfortable truths, ultimately paving the way for a more inclusive and enlightened society.

In conclusion, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai’s fusion of dance and social commentary transcends mere entertainment; it is a powerful statement on the human condition. Through her artistry, she not only breaks barriers but also inspires others to rethink conventional boundaries and strive for positive change. This was a multidimensional musical experience which casts a spell on the audience for an hour while the packed hall is rapt in attention, both thinking and feeling at the same time. The evening starts with the traditional sentiment of a woman’s longing that never ends, then society telling her to adjust and constantly policing women and burdening them in customs and rituals. From the Patriarchal to Parochial every syllable is broken down. Indeed she ended putting the Past Forward.

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