- Sudha Sridhar
March 14, 2011
The dance festival Nrithya Bharathi organized by Natyasaraswathi, was recently conducted at Seva Sadan Auditorium, Bangalore,
and featured about eight classical dance forms of India. It is also a travelling
dance festival and the first edition was held in Hyderabad last year while
the next editions are planned for other cities. The idea of a travelling
festival stems from the fact that the artistes featured in the festival
are generally not from the place of the event and it provides an excellent
opportunity for viewing and appreciating artistes from various parts of
This year the
organizing team had taken more efforts to ensure the success of the event
and this is very much evident from the meticulous planning and execution
witnessed during the festival. The selection of the artistes was also commendable
as it had a right blend of youth and experience.
was inaugurated by the chief guest for the evening, eminent dance scholar
Ashish Mohan Khokar of Bangalore. The honors were shared by Lalitha Srinivasan
(Director, Nupura), Kuchipudi Guru Vedantam Ramu and Revanna, former minister
of Karnataka state.
The festival kicked
off with the performance of Jayanthi Mukherjee, a Kathak dancer from the
City of Joy - Kolkata. It was followed with a classical item in Kuchipudi,
namely the tarangam - dance on brass plate - the trade mark of the Kuchipudi
dance form. It was performed nonchalantly by Bala Tripura Sundari of Tenali,
Andhra Pradesh, to the song "Krishnam kalaya saki sumraram" in Mukari raga
set to adi tala enumerating the various remarkable traits of Lord Krishna.
While the evening
witnessed most of the dance forms showcased by female dancers, one of the
two male dancers of the evening was the brilliant, talented young Odissi
dancer Soumya Bose from Bhubaneswar. One should say that his enchanting
performance to the song "Jaya Bhagabati Devi Namo bara de" in Thodi raga
was par excellence.
The next performance
was that of Divya Nedungadi from Kerala. Her rendering of Mukhachalam in
Mohiniattam style was set to the unique Kerala talam, Panchari in Ragamalika.
Basically an invocatory piece, it brought out the pure nritta form with
the graceful, ethnic movements of Mohiniattam. She followed it with a padam
"Karykare Karmukil," an attempt to portray the emotions and actions of
a peacock which is apparently thrilled by the imminent rainfall.
saw the sequence of dance forms set in a fashion wherein one each from
the southern part was complemented with one from the other parts of the
country; maybe the organizing team had a way of putting forth the universality
and versatility of all the classical dance forms of the country, a clear
evidence that all our dances are based on the Natya Shastra.
By now the audience
which had swelled in numbers was seen lapping up the rich content dished
out and next in turn was that of Manipuri style of dance performance by
Debanjali Biswas, a beautiful and multi-faceted talent from Kolkata. She
performed Prabandha Nartan, a composition describing Radha's tortuous journey
to meet Krishna and the charming traits of Krishna's beauty. Once again,
Lord Krishna the perennially captivating enchanter was the centre of attraction
of the evening's performance. The honour of showcasing Bharatanatyam for
the evening was on the shoulders of the capable Shilpa Darshan Kumar from
Chennai. Her footwork was good. She started with a Mallari which is a traditional
piece in raga nattai set to adi tala. Her apt selection of the piece rendered
during the Pradosha kala of Pradosha day was heartwarming. This was followed
with a padam "Aadikondar", which glorified the majestic nature of the dancing
God, Lord Shiva, in his full glory.
The next dance
performance was that of Sattriya, by beautiful dancer Mridusmitha Das from
Guwahati. She held the audience in an enthralled state with her pieces
'Krishna Vandana' - a beautiful vandana sung on raag Sareng in praise
of Lord Krishna, 'Gopi naach' in a very graceful lasya style and "Pekno
modono gopalo," an abhinaya piece. It should be said that the soothing
Sattriya performance by Mridusmitha was well received by the audience since
one doesn't get many opportunities to view this dance form in this part
of the country.
The last of the
eight classical dance forms of India that was represented in the evening
was that of a Kathakali performance by Probal Gupta. His depiction of the
plight of Panchali in the aftermath of the insulting incident at the hands
of the Kauravas was filled with excellent expressions and easily one of
the best performances of the evening. The concluding dance item wherein
all the eight performers of the classical dance forms showcased for the
evening came together to a fusion dance on Vande Mataram was a colourful
expression of all the stars of the evening.
Well after the
curtains came down on the festival, one could see the audience hanging
around the venue spellbound. This travelling dance festival made it possible
for art lovers to see all the dance forms on one single platform and also
lent a great opportunity for the artistes to understand other dance forms.
with 8 classical dance forms