Widening Circles 
  • Choreography: Aditi Mangaldas 
  • Solo Performance On Live Music
  • Troupe: 1 Dancer, 4-5 Musicians, 2 tech- light & sound/ 1 manager
  • Vocal Composition: Samiullah Khan 
  • Premiere: Chennai, India, 2014

Widening Circles is based on the concept of pratityasamutpada or interdependent co-rising.

This is, because that is. From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

Widening Circles is presented in three parts:
The Sun: The glorious and the mighty to the delicate and the minute! The Earth: Ah! Just as the bud opens at the crack of dawn, the stars wink and withdraw! The Moon: The moon rises and alas, I, the blossoming lotus once again a bud, must endure these pangs of separation from my beloved.

CHOREOGRAPHER’S NOTE: “I have used the metaphor of the blossoming lotus that connects to the ever widening circles of life. Through this imagery, I have tried to explore the concept of pratityssamutpada. Everything is interconnected in this universe. From tiny atoms to vast galaxies, from the simplest to the most complex, from the mighty to the minute…everything is linked and is connected…and within these circles of life is the beautiful flowering Lotus. Stating,“Yes, I am”!” – Aditi Mangaldas

“Her dance form, Kathak, is centuries old, but her sensibility is as modern as today. She has astonishing technical skills; yet her dance is more than that. It is movement choreographed as a series of answers to questions posed by her inquiring mind. Her mudras are delicate, often tremulous in their suggestiveness, her footwork precise and powerful. Her expression ranges from the tender to the tempestuous, from the curious to the confident, from wonderment to bliss. Her dance demonstrates what it means to be utterly free in body, mind and spirit to explore the world. When Aditi Mangaldas concluded her recital, titled Widening Circles, at Tata Theatre on Sunday, the air was still throbbing with the palpable energy she had released. It wasn’t just kinetic energy. It was an amalgam of passionate thought and thoughtful feeling. It was intellectual muscle against sentimental mush. It came from the spine, the mind and the heart. Technique was something that you took for granted as you watched her. Whether she was whirling around the stage dynamising every inch of it, her feet just about brushing the ground as she moved, or whether she was standing in one place, allowing the sound of her ghungroos to fall gradually from a rich resonance to a barely heard whisper, her technique was impeccable. She couldn’t have danced the way she did, had it not been so. For it is only when the dancer knows her body to be a perfectly-tuned instrument, ready to translate her every thought and feeling into movement, that she can be truly free to express them. Mangaldas danced abstractions — the sun, the earth, the moon — each item sensitively lit for mood by Govind Singh Yadav and accompanied by vibrant music from Mohit Gangani, Faraz Ahmad, Ashish Gangani and Amir Khan.” Shanta Gokhale, Mumbai Mirror, Mudra Festival, NCPA, 2018

“The grand finale came with Aditi Mangaldas's solo in Kathak titled Widening Circles...As a seasoned dancer par excellence, Aditi has used the metaphor of the blossoming of lotus that connects to the ever widening circles of life…Aditi presented it in three parts - The Sun, the Earth and the Moon ... Aditi's statement of connections mighty to the delicate and the minute was danced with forceful yet graceful Kathak, the use of silence very artistically dovetailed and imaginative lighting focusing on her when she spoke about widening circles, were extremely impressive. Appearing delicate and petite Aditi is a powerhouse of energy. The brilliant execution of dha taka thunga to the accompaniment of tabla and pakhavaj, the aalap by vocalist and the tuneful sarangi built up the mood…..  The contrasts with dance and silence, sitting on floor and reading German poet Rainer Maria Rilke's poem 'I live my life in widening circles....' echoing her innermost thoughts and with exquisite lighting, Aditi revealed her deep thinking which left indelible impression…The magic persisted and the audience burst into rounds of applause giving Aditi and her musicians a standing ovation. Aditi has been scaling great artistic heights pushing the boundaries of Kathak enriching it with poetry, movement, music, costume, lighting and coalescing various elements in a refreshing manner…Tata Theatre provided an aesthetic setting where like gems the artists shone forth, giving audiences an elevating experience.” Dr Sunil Kothari, narthaki.com, Mudra Festival, NCPA, 2018