By Rustom Bharucha
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Extra info for Chandralekha, Woman Dance Resistance
Along with Kamala's condition, Chandra presents searing images of the larger horror of being poor and pregnant in a big city. From Kamala herself she learns about the 'pandemonium' in government hospi tals where babies get mixed up or lost, or more terrifyingly, eaten by stray dogs. In the garbage we can see 'women's dried menstrual blood/in the mouth of the dogs', along with scraps of food. shown how a slum dweller who carries tiffin carriers to many offices ekes out her living by selling the remnants of food to beggars and waifs: and then the tiffin carriers returned for the next day's meals and the next day's tiffin carriers a tradition of our times.
Though the text of his commentary no longer exists, it undeniably played a vital factor in holding the production together, and perhaps, authenticating it through the sheer force of his personality. From this use of commentary, we encounter a recurring feature in Chandra's work as a choreographer: her need to introduce or even interrupt the performance through speech. In each of her productions, Chandra's vacika (as I like to call it) is absolutely vital for both our understanding and enjoyment of her work.
In Chandra's dance, it is not just the dancers that move, but the entire space which is energised through a configuration of particular energies and inter-relationships. One such pril1ciple evident in Tillana is Chandra's cease less need to 'break' a form as soon as it is 'made', so at no point is the dance allowed to become static. Defying any attempt to document her choreography in a series of pat terns, the 'visual logic' of Chandra's dance is consciously made up of breaks which accentuate rather than disrupt the overall 'flow' of the performance.