By Kedar Mishra
Bhubaneswar: In the city of Bengaluru one can see the exciting presence of Odissi and feel the aroma of Odisha. Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts, a Bengaluru based Odissi center run by ace dancer and teacher Madhulita Mohapatra organized ‘NAMAN’, the only Odissi festival in the city.
The two-day festival devoted for young dancers was designed to showcase the best of Odissi artistry. For the last four years Madhulita is trying to rope in best of talents from Odissi community and is creating a solid platform for this eastern Indian art form at the southern metro city of Bengaluru.
August 5, 2012, was the day for the young and newly initiated students of Nrityantar. Hundreds of dancers in solo, group and duet formats presented a range of Odissi repertoire, composed by various Gurus, starting from Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Gangadhar Pradhan to Aruna Mohanty and Ratikant Mohapatra. The panoramic presentation of Odissi by Madhulita’s students may not be that perfect, but the passion and the involvement made the show moving. It was heartening to see housewives and professionals taking Odissi as a part of their lives. A group of housewives presented Basant Pallavi with much care. A little Freya, sweetly and brilliantly presented ‘Malli mala Shyamaku Debi…’a time tested expressional number with great conviction.
Another promising show was from Anjali, a beautiful young talent, taking up Ratikanta Mohapatra’s brilliant composition Megh Pallavi and giving full justice to it. Anjali can be said as the find of the festival.
Taking a diversion, a group came up with Rangabati… song and ablazed the stage with wild Sambalpuri charm.
The second day of the festival opened up a treasure house of talent and all the four performers of the evening moved the spirit of Rasa in every Rasika present in the Seva Sadan auditorium.
Beginning the evening treat Sonali Mohapatra, a student of Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, representing Guru Debaprasad school of Odissi set the mood with Chakrabaka Pallavi. She internalized the rhythms and demonstrated her inner power through lyrical steps and graceful movements. In Abhinaya, Sonali picked up a poem from famous Vaishnava poet Banamali Das ‘Kede chhanda janelo sahi‘ depicting the childhood sports of Sri Krishna. This particular piece was composed by Guru Durgacharan Ranbir consciously bringing out a different dimension from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s composition.
Vijayini Satpathy, the prime attraction of the festival and star of the evening created a lot of cheers and excitement among the art lovers. Mere utterance of her name created wild raptures and it was heartening to see Vijayini meeting everybody’s expectation with her brilliant dancing. Supported by a powerful group of musicians, Vijayini started her performance, presenting a pure dance titled SRIMATI and it was an expression of positive feminism. Pure dance is not all about rhythm and abstraction, it can also communicate a sensible theme, that was ably proved by Vijayini.
Her second presentation was Priye charushile…… from Geeta Gobinda. Choreographed by Surupa Sen, it relied more on the literal meanings of the text. Expression of Vyanjana and making out something from between the lines could have been more inspiring!
Finally Sita Harana, unfolded the skill, expression, dramatic elements and poeticism of Vijayini’s talent. Economy of expression is Vijayini’s greatest strength and she accurately expressed the feel.
Pabitra Pradhan and Sudatta Bhol, the gifted duo from Odisha Dance Academy brought up the much awaited finishing touch to the festival. Well balanced and composed, Pabitra presented Panch Bhuta or the five cosmic elements with rare perfection. Pabitra and Sudatta brilliantly expressed ‘Radha badana bilokita…’an Astapadi from Geeta Gobinda. It was simple, sweet and the choreography was more relying on Vyanjana, narrating and depicting the lines.
Indeed a festival of rarity and promises.