Guru Debaprasad Das legacy comes alive 
Tridhara celebrates 2nd Odissi Dance Festival in New Delhi 
- Dr. Bhabani Dikshit 

October 4, 2009 

The two-day dance festival of the 2nd Guru Debaprasad Das Nrutya Parampara 2009 at Stein Auditorium at New Delhi concluded recently was quite significant in many ways as it gave an appropriate platform for the audience to clearly distinguish the subtle dance nuances of the Odissi legacy of this great Guru in comparison with another of his contemporary, the well known Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. Credit for this venture goes to Tridhara which is a pioneering cultural organization that upholds the unique style of Late Guru Debaprasad Das and promotes a synthetic gharana imbibing essence from tribal and folk traditions. This organization has been founded by Debaprasad Das, who was well known for his pure and unique style of Odissi Dance. Debaprasad Das was the former professor of Odissi Dance in Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya, Bhubaneswar. Now his able and efficient disciple Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda is the director of Tridhara. 

The function was inaugurated by the doyen of culture Dr Kapila Vastayan amidst the eminent Gurus Harekrishna Behera (Odissi Dance), Prabhakara Sreechandan (Odissi Music) and Nilakantha Tarai (Sakhi Nata) who later were felicitated for their  contribution. 

Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan inaugurates the festival
Odissi dance presentation: 
The first item of Magalacharan reverberated with the Ganga Taranga slokas when Ravankruta Shiva Tandava was performed by Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda. His dynamic dance demonstrations vividly portrayed Shiva Tandava manifestations and initiated for an ensuing subtler Odissi performances by the disciples of Debaprasad Das legacy followed by it.  

Astapadi (Nindati Chandana) as a part of Abhinaya accrues from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda and was performed by Anita Singh Deo with her immaculate expressional dance. The viraha expressions of the dancer reflected the emotional content through her well crafted mudras 

Gajendra Kumar Panda
Gayatri Chand
In India, the Sun god has been worshipped from time immemorial, as a symbol of health, strength, vitality and immortal life. While offering prayers to the Sun god, Gayatri Chand performed the devotional item Sooryastaka in her full spirits. She surcharged the auditorium with her completely articulate, blissful, immensely graceful and energetic dance movements ensuring a perfect harmony of flames of inner passion for her dedication to the Sun god along with the spiritual urge for merging altogether with the all powerful planet (grahapati) who is the head of all planets. The Sooryastaka sequences of the dancer based on the Raga Bairagi and the Jati Tala made a superb impact. Sooryastaka in such unique Odissi form manifested a rich amalgamation of Gayatri Chandís merging of her dance with her soul in total devotion at the backdrop of the pure vocal and music composition of Guru Ramahari Das. It was a harmonious Sooryastaka uniquely blended by Gayatri Chand. 
In the item Pallavi, Sangeeta Dash did splendid Odissi performance along with the music composed by Ramahari Das based on Raga Madhyamadi, choreographed by Sangeeta Dash herself. The themes of cloud, peacock and nayika could be vividly seen. 

The most vibrant programme of the Tridhara Odissi evening was the Mokshya dance recital, the concluding item of the first day. According to Hinduisim, salvation is the ultimate goal of human life. Hence, in this item, Gajendra Panda, Sangeeta Dash and Gayatri Chand with all their force performed Mokshya in a very fast speed to achieve this ultimate goal. Liberation from bondage was clearly visible in the faces of these dancers.  
The second day was also similarly full of events like Dasavatar, Sivastaka, Dandanata and Sakhinata etc. Both the days, the cultural performances evoked applause from the audience.

The writer is the Managing Editor, World Focus, based in New Delhi