Ugadi celebration by Sai Arts International
- Probal Gupta, Bangalore   

April 5, 2010 

Sai Arts International, in collaboration with Articulate, organized a program to celebrate the new Samvatsara The Ugadi beginning of the Kannada New Year. It must be mentioned that Suparna Venkatesh has been consistently engaged in training blind students, a dedicated work which definitely requires accolades. The evening was divided into two parts, with the first half pivoting around Kathak by Suparna Venkatesh and group, and the second half by the blind students exhibiting their passion for dance through Bharatanatyam (which this critic was unfortunately not able to stay on for).

Commencing the evening with Tulsidas's bhajan "Thumak Chalat Ram Chandra" by Mysore Nagaraj exhibiting the attributes of Lord Rama as a young child with Dasaratha's wife playing with him, proved his mettle. "Ardhanarishwara" exhibiting the micro macro mingling of Lord Shiva and Parvati came next. Facing the audience, the attributes of the specific lord were very dramatically portrayed by both Suparna and Nagaraj. The Geet Tribhat showcasing meticulous footwork and the pure nritta aspect by Mysore Nagaraj and Prakash came next, followed by a tarana sung by Faiaz Khan set to Raag Malhar in Teen Taal. 

Suparna Venkatesh's performance deserves special mention. With thorough training under Dr. Maya Rao, the dancer exhibited her fortitude in all the items she executed with grace, speaking of her dedication and perseverance of Kathak.

Probal Gupta trained in Kathakali under two legends, Late Kalamandalam Govindan Kutty and Guru Fact Padmanabhan under whom he is presently continuing his specialization in Stree Vesham genre of Kathakali. He has established a Solo Margam for Stree Vesham Kathakali under the able guidance of his Guru. He is the dance critic for The Hindu, Bangalore.