Artistic Collaborations

Deeply inspired by the cross-cultural linkages, both in the European renais-
sance and in the Mughal emperor Akbar’s court (where the Navratnas admired and learnt from each other) Geeta too has attempted to expand the vocabulary of Bharatanatyam by boldly entering into artistic collaborations with a wide array of artists working in different genres and mediums. Poets, authors, musicians, dancers, theatre artists, painters, sculptors, technicians and costume designers have all embraced the hand she extended for creative collaborations with her.

This journey has led to several new creative endeavours. Some significant ones are:

:: Unique collaboration with puppeteer Anuroopa Roy and her Kat Katha Puppet Company which culminated in the creation of “HER VOICE”, a dance-puppet presentation based on the Mahabharata and focusing on the theme of “Women and War”.

:: Special choreographies in classical Bharatanatyam were inspired through Geeta’s interactions with artist-friends like Shuvaprasanna, Arpana Caur, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Naresh Kapuria and Arjuna. These dance creations were performed against the backdrop of their paintings. In “MYTHOGIES RETOLD”, the choreography was inspired by the archival painting collection of the Rasaja Foundation. In “IMAGINING PEACE”, photographer/film-maker Vandana Kohli created a film that was integral to the performance.

:: Photography too has deeply interested Geeta and she has been the subject for the creative eye of: Avinash Pascricha, Amarjeet, Baldev Kapoor, Kiron Pasricha, Robyn Beeche, Briana Blasko, Bandeep Singh, Ravi Pasricha, Vandana Kohli, Hari Nair, Arjuna and several others.

:: Geeta has also participated in inter-classical dance collaborations. In “JAI BHARATI”, she worked with Guru Singhajit Singh, Guru Charu Sija Mathur, Bharati Shivaji, Jayarama Rao and Vanashri Rao, Madhavi Mudgal and Shovana Narayan. In “SANKRITI”, Geeta’s Bharatanatyam choreography dialogued with Odissi, Kathakali, Manipuri and Kathak.

:: Different genres of music have ignited Geeta’s dance creativity. Among them, Haveli Sangeet, Dhrupad, Gazal and even Western Classical Music (her choreography to Tchaikovsky’s score is considered a milestone in Bharatanatyam).

:: In theatre, her creative explorations with Rashid Ansari led to the path-breaking “KAIKEYI”, a solo theatre exposition of the Ramayana character whose psychology was unveiled through Geeta’s dance, movement, vocal singing, narration and abhinaya/acting. In MYTHOLOGIES RETOLD, actress/dancer Rashmi Vaidialingam was a creative collaborator.

:: Geeta’s dance has meandered with the poetry and writings of Dr. Chandra Rajan, Lakshmi Kannan, Ashok Vajpeyi, Ashok Chakradhar and Asha Bage.

:: With musicians, Geeta has collaborated with Shubha Mudgal, O.S. Arun, Akhila Krishnan, Aruna Sairam, Vasanti Krishna Rao, Sudha Raghuraman, Nirmalya Dey, Pandit Chandraprakash, K. Venkateshwaran, Saskia deHaas Rao and several others.

:: In costume design and aesthetics, Geeta has worked with handloom visualizer Shashiv Chandran and costume designer Sandhya Raman.