By Kedar Mishra
Photo Courtesy: Srjan
It was moods of spring in a dry monsoon evening. There was celebration of the king of seasons in various ways and style on stage. Ritu Basant or the spring season came alive through the music and dance in the inaugural presentation of Bijayini Satpathy in the 19th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Awards Festival, that begun on Sep 06, 2013 and is to continue till Sep 09,2013, at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. It is one of the most sought after festival in the city, where a rich galaxy of stars are invited to showcase their creative paramount. The inaugural evening of the festival loaded with nostalgia and longing, offered it’s soulful tribute to Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi, who passed away recently. Starting up the festival Bijayini Satpathy, renowned Odissi dancer from Nrityagram, Bangalore, picked up a full round of Pt. Panigrahi’s music for her performance and it was a soulful tribute to the legend through his own compositions.
Spirit of the Spring
Bijayini in her four fold arrangement included Devi Stuti (Parvati Panchakam), Pure dance based on Raga Basant( Ritu Basant), Abhinaya based on Gopalkrishna’s Odia poem (Manasija Mana Mohana…) and Shiva Stuti (Shivastaka), all musically supported by Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi’s class compositions. No doubt, Bijayini is one of the finest Odissi dancers of our time and her perfection in terms of body language has a class of its own. Finer balance of body, sculptural and lyrical poses displaying tremendous stamina and highly communicative facial expression- these are few aspects which make her a great dancer. She is a choreographer’s delight and a darling of audience, who loves to watch dancers as live sculptures. Technical excesses in Nrityagram’s style sometime overshadow the subtle and delicate lyricism of the dance. It looks energetic and highly polished, but misses the slower nuances of poetry. In Mansija Mana Mohana..there was a finer expression of romance using a impulsive simile (Sphuta Champaka balliki ..se je dura ru biloki, tanu jaka heuthila thara thara re sajani….It was the subtle bloom of Champak bud that evoked ecstasy in my body) in music and poetry, but the dancer’s fast moving expression could not hold that power packed subtlety.
Magic and Mathematics
The second presentation of the evening was by eminent Tabla Player Nayan Ghosh, the son and desciple of Pt. Nikhil Ghosh. His mesmerizing fingers creating extra ordinary blend of Toda, Tukda, Tihyee, Chakradhar, Paran in Tin Tal with 16 beats, created a magical spell. He was accompanied in Harmonium by Shri Hirnmaya Mitra. Rejecting the modernist notion of fast paced beating, he came up with great serenity and unusual calmness in his play style. He showcased variations and varieties in Taal patterns and displayed magical mathematics of the Indian rhythms which was sheer poetry in it’s move. Before concluding, he took the audience down to a grand memory lane, where a whole range of rhythmic Gats( Rhythmic compositions) came alive. Starting from Ustad Munir Khan, Mian Baxu to the great Gyanprakash Ghosh, he guided his audience to a great repository of tradition.
Dr. S. C. Jamir, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha and Shri Susil Kumar Das, Director, Culture accmpanied by Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra lighted the ceremonial lamp. The programme was compered by Er. Srinivas Ghatuari.