Bhubaneswar: Smt. Aruna Mohanty, and Sri Ratikant Mohapatra presented the first edition of Navapallava, a young dancers’ festival on at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, here on Saturday.
This initiative aims to provide a dignified platform for promising classical dancers aged between 25 and 40 years, to showcase their skill and talent pan India, under the patronage of eminent gurus across their respective cities.
The first edition of Navapallava, a collaboration between two of the most reputed Odissi dance institutions of India, Orissa Dance Academy (ODA), and Srjan, featured dance recitals by two young promising talents.
The evening’s performance began with a Kuchipudi presentation by Aarthi Vasudevan, followed by a Kathak presentation by Komal Khushwani.
A trained Kuchipudi dancer under the tutelage of Guru Kalaimamani Sailaja, Aarthi Vasudevan, who is an empanelled artiste of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and a ‘B’ grade artiste of Doordarshan, commenced her recital with a Tarangam
composed by 17th century Sanskrit scholar and poet, Narayana Teertha. In this presentation, the dancer executed varied rhythmic patterns while standing on the rims of a brass plate, a notable feature of many traditional Kuchipudi presentations.
Her second presentation was ‘Sakhi he’, an Ashtapadi from the eminent 12th century poet, Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda. In this Ashtapadi, Radha beseeches her friend to go and bring Krishna to her as she reminisces their time of union and pines for his love. Aarthi’s final piece was a powerful rendition of the Mahisasura Mardhini Stotram, based on the Devi Mahatmyam. This stotram encapsulated the power and grandeur of Goddess Durga as She slays the demon Mahishasura.
Following this versatile Kuchipudi presentation, was the energetic Kathak recital of Komal Khushwani, a disciple of Pt. Jai Kishan Maharaj. Komal started training in Kathak under the renowned Guru Smt. Reva Vidyarthi, and has also had the opportunity to get the guidance and mentorship of Smt. Malti Shyam and Smt. Rani Khanam. An integral part of many compositions and productions of Pt. Jai Kishan Maharaj, Komal commenced her performance with Madhurashtakam, composed by the 15 th century Bhakti poet and philosophers, Sri Vallabhacharya, describing the enchanting and glorious attributes of Lord Krishna.
Her second and concluding presentation for the evening was a beautiful Thumri, depicting Radha’s eternal and sublime love for Lord Krishna.
Captivating the audience with their neat footwork and commendable stage presence, both Komal and Aarthi are extremely talented dancers, who are carrying forward the rich heritage of their classical dance forms forward with great promise. They were aided
in their presentations by the able light design of Sri Jaydev Das, and the compering of Ananya Parida.
Navapallava, supported and executed for the first time by Smt. Aruna Mohanty, and Sri Ratikant Mohapatra in Bhubaneswar, is an exemplary effort to present new and upcoming classical dancers on a professional platform. By condemning the practice of ‘Pay and Perform,’ wherein artistes are made to pay money for receiving an opportunity to perform, in return for little or no pay, it represents the coming together of the entire artistes’ community to encourage the new generation of artistes to carry forward their rich cultural legacy with the spirit of excellence and professionalism.