Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

Gold Star - 83,221 Points (3rd August 1950 / Mumbai)

Ayyappan 7 - The Challenges That I Had To Confront - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

Looking back,
I realise,
How everytime,
I performed on stage,
A new choreography
In dance,
On a fresh subject,
Or a new theme,
There was always,
More criticism than praise.

When I began to perform
‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa',
Many eyebrows were raised.
How a style like Mohiniattam,
That defined ‘Lasya' or feminine charm
Designed as an exclusive style for women,
That poured out ‘Sringara' -
Love and beauty to the brim,
Ever could adapt itself
To the story of Lord Ayyappan? !

It was a challenge that I had to confront.

The simple answer
Lies in the fact
That a dance style
Like Mohiniattam,
Does not restrict itself
To passionate human love themes alone,
But can embrace themes
Of ‘Bhakti'
Or divine love.
Can there be anything better than love for God?


All the forty One recitals of
My ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa'
Were witnessed by huge crowds
With audience so admirable,
That at the end of my dance recital,
I always had tears of joy
Streaming down my eyes.
‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa'
Remains till date as my most favourite,
Of all my dance choreographies.

Topic(s) of this poem: life, dance, story


Comments about Ayyappan 7 - The Challenges That I Had To Confront by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

  • Glen Kappy (3/23/2019 7:20:00 AM)

    Hi, Geeta! I think all who blaze new trails face criticism from strict traditionalists. And I am conviced, as you are, that all love has one source. I’m glad that you did receive lots of affirmation for your creative choreography and performances. -Glen (Report)Reply

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  • Vaidyanathan Ram Iyer (2/13/2019 11:28:00 PM)

    Nice thanking Lord Ayyappan,10 (Report)Reply

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  • Kostas Lagos (2/13/2019 6:22:00 AM)

    The world is full of critics. Usually people that have a lot of personal issues to handle. This poem is lovely (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish Manga (2/12/2019 7:39:00 AM)

    (3)
    The phenomenal success of the experiment remains, more than being a personal milestone, a historic high-point when we talk about Mohiniattam as a classical dance for. You deserve all the praise for this remarkable achievement, Geeta ji.Thanks a lot. I would like to quote:
    It was a challenge that I had to confront.
    Of ‘Bhakti' / Or divine love.
    Can there be anything better than love for God?
    (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish Manga (2/12/2019 7:18:00 AM)

    (2)
    This was no less than a challenge for you to introduce a variety or a new dimension in the form of 'Bhakti or the divine love and to present it as an experiment. This was done through the content based on the life and exploits of Lord Ayyappan.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish Manga (2/12/2019 7:14:00 AM)

    Through this poetic account, we have come to know as to how an old convention of Mohiniattam Dance Form was broken to create stage for a new content and idiom. This dance has traditionally been attached with 'Lasya' or the feminine charm and 'Sringara' or love and beauty. (Report)Reply

    Geeta Radhakrishna Menon(2/12/2019 11:23:00 AM)

    Rajnish ji, your perception is so accurate and your evaluation perfect.
    The performances of " Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" were not merely personal milestones, but a beginning of a new thought, new philosophy, - a change, a transformation in a dance style that needed it to survive and to gain a foothold in a society, so full of orthodox ideas.
    Thanks a lot for your generosity and high thinking, Rajnish ji. Its of great value to me.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 11, 2019



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