Konark: One of the country’s biggest classical dance festivals got off to a colourful start with Odissi and Kuchipudi on the inaugural day of Konark Festival. Being accorded a religious base, these dance forms with a stronger linkage to the temples have their distinctive style and grammar.
The first rendition was Odissi by eminent danseuse Madhavi Mudgal with her students from Gandharv Mohavidyalaya, New Delhi who had decked her repertoire with customary Mangalacharan invoking the blessings of Goddess Ganga followed by Pallavi highlighting the pure dance aspects blending elegantly the rhythm and visual patterns. Excerpts from Jayadev’s Geeta Govinda depicting the handsome Krishna Charming his way into the hearts of beautiful Gopis leaving Radha with a pang of separation when spring sets in with love and ecstasy. This was followed by another Abhinay based on “Ka” & “Kha” Champu, the typical Odia songs composed by Kabi Surya Baldev Rath exhibiting Radha’s bewilderment after seeing Krishna first time, chided and contained by the Gopis of the dangerous repercussion having been united with Krishna. The Odissi performance concluded with Moksha symbolising the merging of the self with the cosmic self through dance.
The enchanting performance of the students of Gandharv Mohavidylaya, New Delhi led by Padmashree Madhavi Mudgal enthralled the audience with the grace, vitality, the sculptural beauties punctuated with supple movements and visual patterns of different dimensions. They were accompanied on vocal by Sri Purna Chandra Majhi and Mani Kuntala Bhowmik, on Pakhwja by Gandhi Malik on flute by Srinibas Satpathy and yar Mohmed on Sitar.
The second performance on the opening day of the Konark Dance Festival 2012 was an amalgam of divine music and graceful fluidic dance moves by renowned Kuchipudi stalwarts Dr Raja and Dr Radha Reddy and troupe who performed to the divine renditions of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. They stored with “Devi Stutee” invoking the blessings of Mother Goddess Durga depicting her various aspects. Then Natya Tarangini took to stage with Nava Taruni (Raga-Kedara Gaula Tal-Adi Tala), which is a composition of Sri Venkatasubbaiah, the legendary poet, who wrote poems known as Krishna Ganam. The item describes the beauty of Krishna as the embodiment of eternal bliss. Here the dancers present the personality of Krishna as Raasa Vilaasa Purusha and portray Krishna’s Raas Leela with young Gopikas. The dancers also present the historic scene from Mahabharat where Krishna preaches the young Arjuna and the entire universe through his discourse, known today as the Bhagavat Gita.
The composition is noted for the use of jathis and sahityam and sometimes even swaras or notes to make a composite texture of lyric and rhythm which is eminently translated into dance.
Their next performance was Tarana set to (Raga-Nata Bhairavi Tal-Ektal), a Hindustani musical item, composed by Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar and choreographed by world renowned dancing couple Raja Radha Reddy.
ThenTarangam set to ( Raga – Mohan Tal – Adi), marked the climax of the Kuchipudi recital, which depicted famous stories of Krishna’s childhood. The item ended with a display of exquisite virtuosity as the dancers executed intricate footwork patterns by dancing on the rim of brass plate and coordinated them with complicated rhythmic patterns.
The programme began with one minute silence to pay homage to the Late Prime Minister, I. K. Gujral.
The other attraction which added colour and flavor to the show are the International Sand Art Festival right on the Chandrabhaga Beach with 10 Artists from 9 Countries besides 20 Artists from Odisha and India. The Jugalbandi of colour & rhythm manifested beautifully on canvas painted by noted artist and Principal, B. K. College of Arts & Crafts, Bhubaneswar, Sri Baldev Moharatha, a Painting Exhibition inside the campus of Yatrinivas.