Invoking peace and joy to the world through dance in the time of coronavirus

Life as we have known it has been unhinged in many ways by the coronavirus pandemic. With new social norms, restrictions on travel, work, study, play and even on live interactions with family and friends. 

As cases of COVID-19 rise in the region, artists have been responding to the challenges and sharing their feelings in the way they know best – Through their art. 

"As dancers, the best way for us to convey our message is through dance," says Sreedevy, Artistic Director, Omkar Arts who created a small video with her dancers last week as a prayer to heal the world. 

The heartwarming video has 22 artists from from Singapore and Australia trained in Bharatanayam and Kathak performing to the same words repeated throughout the song.

Photo Courtesy: Omkar Arts
Photo Courtesy: Omkar Arts

The song, 'Lokah Samastha Sukino Bhavantu', sung by various artists in India has music composed by Pandit Ramesh Narayanan.  

Lokah has two meanings in Sanskrit – people and world​. Samastha means all and takes the leap from the individual to the universal.  Sukhino Bhavantu can mean peaceful and happy too. 

"This prayer that invokes peace and joy for the entire universe is something I says in my prayers all the time", says Sreedevy. "When I came across this music composed by various artists in India, I asked the dancers to interpret the line and put their own individuality into their steps"

Completely home-made, the dances are composed and recorded by the dancers themselves on their phones or cameras, within their homes and surroundings with concept and direction by Sreedevy.

The editor, Karthikgayan is a dancer himself- who picked up some editing skills through home-based-learning in the process of editing this video. 

Omkar Arts started in 1987 is synonymous with contemporary Bharathanatyam and a pioneer in Singapore for infusing contemporary movements into classical Indian dance styles.