Bharatanatyam has seen tremendous growth in the past decades or so, from its original format as Sadirattam, and after it was rechristened as Bharatanatyam and now to its modern avatar—it is extremely interesting to see the growth and the transformation that this form, one of India’s oldest, has gone through to reach this point today. Globalisation of Bharatanatyam has given it a special flavour and we see Bharatanatyam collaborating with various other dance forms both Indian and Western, to adapt and reach out to multifarious and diverse audiences of the world.

Amidst so much activity, it is easy to forget our roots. But does that mean we continue to perform Bharatanatyam as it was a hundred years ago? The question that came up then was—is it possible to retain the format of traditional form, yet create something new and fresh from it? Exploring the classical concept of the Ashtanayikas, Maanini traverses the fascinating phases and the various moods of a woman in love yet maintaining the grammar and vocabulary of the traditional Varnam in Bharatanatyam, aiming to bridge the space between the traditional and the modern.