Krishna’s nectar is a duet-choreographic work in Bharatanatyam, conceptualised and presented in dance by dancers Shweta Prachande and Apoorva Jayaraman. Originally commissioned by Natyarangam (dance wing of Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai India) and premiered at their Annual Dance Festival – Krishna Bharatham in 2016, the work has subsequently been presented at various prestigious venues around India. The work is a selected anthology of the verses of 13th century poet Leela Suka from his work of the same title on the beauty of little Krishna. Translating as ‘Nectar to the Ears of Krishna’, it is an imaginative exploration of the escapades of Krishna as a child, with prominent elements of humour and fun which make them unique. The production brings to the fore selected imagery and narratives about Krishna which are rare and unique to this text, emerging completely from the imagination of the poet. It therefore presents this popular and much loved hindu mythological figure of Krishna in a completely fresh light. Apoorva Jayaraman and Shweta Prachande are both well known solo performers of Bharatanatyam based in Chennai, India. They are long term colleagues, having both been under the tutelage of acclaimed international Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarsini Govind (Chennai, India) for more than a decade. The collaboration on this project grew as a natural extension of a shared artistic descent and approach. In the scenario where female-female Bharatanatyam duets are rare to be seen, they set out to create a fresh and in-depth exploration of the dynamics involved in duet performance while exploiting their individual strengths as soloists.
Apoorva Jayaraman has had the privilege of training under world renowned artist Smt Priyadarsini Govind for the past 16 years in Chennai (India). She was initially mentored in dance by Smt Padmini Ravi (Bangalore). She underwent specialized training in abhinaya from Padmabhushan Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan. She has featured as a prominent soloist in a series of international dance DVDs produced by Kalakriya that have gained worldwide popularity, earning her special recognition and acclaim among connoisseurs from around the globe. She has performed under the banner of several of Chennai’s most prestigious Sabhas, such as The Music Academy, Trinity Arts Festival, Narada Gana Sabha, Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Kartik Fine Arts, Yuva Utsav at Bharat Kalachar. She has toured USA, UK, Italy, and Germany, giving performances, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. She was awarded the Nritya Ratna – Best Dancer of the Year Award by Milapfest and the Arts Council UK (2014), the Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari Award by Narada Gana Sabha Chennai (2017) and Natya Ratna award by Trinity Arts Festival (2014). Her work has been featured in several leading international magazines and newspapers including the New York Times (USA), Physics World (UK), Pulse Magazine (UK), The Hindu (India), The Indian Express (India), Sruti Magazine (India), Aalaap Magazine (India) among others. She has explored her flair for choreography, and has created and performed in cross-style performances alongside Kathak and Odissi artists. She was invited by Natyarangam (Chennai) to be a part of commissioned choreographic works. She also presented, along with fellow artist Shweta Prachande, a duet production on Krishna Karnamrutham choreographed by them at the Natyarangam Thematic Festival. Apoorva is also an astrophysicist with a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge and a Masters degree in Physics from University of Oxford.
Shweta Prachande started learning Bharatanatyam from the age of 5 and is currently training from Guru Smt. Priyadarsini Govind after completing the five-year course at Kalavardhini Dance Institute under Guru Dr. Sucheta Chapekar. Having moved to Chennai in 2005 to pursue dance as a full time profession, Shweta has since come to be recognized as one of Bharatanatyam’s leading young dancers in today’s generation. Her dance is a concoction of crisp movements, fluidity of motion and energetic dynamism. Having learnt Kalaripayattu and completing a diploma in Contemporary Dance Studies from The Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance, London, the aesthetic amalgamation of these styles and techniques makes her dance unique and enthralling. Shweta is the assurance that Bharatanatyam is a timeless art. She is known for her impactful and energetic portrayal of nritta and presentations of abhinaya that is deep and mesmerizing. She has trained in Nattuvangam and Carnatic Music. She has also completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Bharatanatyam from the Bharathidasan University and her Masters in Commerce from The Pune University. Winner of many national scholarships, she has many awards to her credit and has won almost all major dance competitions across the country. She has performed extensively in India and abroad to critical acclaim and is a regular feature every year during the December Music and Dance Festival in Chennai. She has also been featured in a number of programs for many famous TV Channels like Doordarshan and Star Plus.
Photos: Mario D’Angelo