June Issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Published 8 years ago

Tehreema Mitha, the acclaimed US-based Pakistani dancer, flew down all the way from the US to pay tribute to her mother and guru, Indu Mitha, on her 80th birthday by performing in three cities of Pakistan. Her last show was in Karachi at the packed PACC auditorium.

Tehreema began her performance with a classical solo titled ‘Tashna-e-Lubb Zindagi Jaagti Hai,’ a befitting choice for the occasion as it plays upon the theme of the bond between the ustaad (teacher) and shagird(student). In her second item, ‘Rutt Malhaar ki Reet,’ Tehreema did not merely describe a peacock, but became one. Tehreema’s fresh take on an old classic was truly enjoyable.

As a teacher, Indu never demanded outright imitation of classical dance from her students. She would demonstrate several times, varying her expressions, her posture or the symbolic hasta, and encourage them to choose whatever expressed them best.

Tehreema diligently followed her guru’s teachings. And she has carried this sensibility to her contemporary choreography as well, with the result that it never degenerates into mere naturalistic mime, devoid of stylistic postures or rhythmic intricacy.

Her Karachi recital also marked the return of Bharata Natyam movements, which were missing in her two contemporary pieces. She threw a disarmingly natural headroll into the set format of the opening, which was like a breath of fresh air presaging a high-velocity storm!

Fortunately, Tehreema’s performance is not limited by the social and historic traditions of a bygone era. She is neither afraid to use her classical training to depict contemporary themes, nor hesitant to tackle a taboo subject such as depression. And there is no pop or Bollywood flavour to jazz it up, only strong indigenous footwork.

All in all, a delightful performance and a befitting tribute to her guru.

This article originally appeared in the June issue of Newsline as “Magical Movements.”

Tehreema Mitha, the acclaimed US-based Pakistani dancer, flew down all the way from the US to pay tribute to her mother and guru, Indu Mitha, on her 80th birthday by performing in three cities of Pakistan. Her last show was in Karachi at the packed PACC auditorium.

Tehreema began her performance with a classical solo titled ‘Tashna-e-Lubb Zindagi Jaagti Hai,’ a befitting choice for the occasion as it plays upon the theme of the bond between the ustaad (teacher) and shagird(student). In her second item, ‘Rutt Malhaar ki Reet,’ Tehreema did not merely describe a peacock, but became one. Tehreema’s fresh take on an old classic was truly enjoyable.

As a teacher, Indu never demanded outright imitation of classical dance from her students. She would demonstrate several times, varying her expressions, her posture or the symbolic hasta, and encourage them to choose whatever expressed them best.

Tehreema diligently followed her guru’s teachings. And she has carried this sensibility to her contemporary choreography as well, with the result that it never degenerates into mere naturalistic mime, devoid of stylistic postures or rhythmic intricacy.

Her Karachi recital also marked the return of Bharata Natyam movements, which were missing in her two contemporary pieces. She threw a disarmingly natural headroll into the set format of the opening, which was like a breath of fresh air presaging a high-velocity storm!

Fortunately, Tehreema’s performance is not limited by the social and historic traditions of a bygone era. She is neither afraid to use her classical training to depict contemporary themes, nor hesitant to tackle a taboo subject such as depression. And there is no pop or Bollywood flavour to jazz it up, only strong indigenous footwork.

All in all, a delightful performance and a befitting tribute to her guru.

This article originally appeared in the June issue of Newsline as “Magical Movements.”