The 4th WDA Dance Festival

January 10, 2012

On the quiet evening of Saturday, January 7, 2012, the small hall of Smriti Nandan came alive when young, vibrant Kuchipudi dancer, Vrata Chigateri from England, took the stage. Soon the serene surrounding was filled with the sounds of ankle bells and the hall with keen art lovers. The occasion was the fourth edition of the Annual Dance Festival organised by the Karnataka Chapter of the World Dance Alliance, Asia Pacific. The festival showcases and brings together foreign and NRI practitioners of Indian dance along with Indian artistes.

Felicitating Jayant Kastuar
The Karnataka Chapter is led by its dynamic president, Guru Veena Murthy Vijay. World Dance Alliance is committed to the promotion and propagation of classical arts and has undertaken several activities in this direction. After welcoming everyone, Veena Murthy Vijay briefly spoke about the organisation, its objectives, plans and activities. The program started with the auspicious lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests, Vikram Vishwanath, Honorary Council, Republic of Peru and Asha Gopal. They were joined by Veena Murthy Vijay and other members of WDA, Anuradha Vikranth, Deepa Sashidharan and Madhulita Mohapatra. Senior Bharatanatyam guru Lalitha Srinivasan also graced the evening.

Vrata, a disciple of Vyjayanthi Kashi, commenced her recital with Ganesha Pravesha Daravu followed by a Ganesha kautvam. Pravesha or Praveshika daravu is a traditional aspect of Kuchipudi repertoire where the character entering the stage is described. In Ganesha Pravesha Daravu, the artiste as a third person introduced and described the grace and the charms of Lord Ganesha for removing all the obstacles for the smooth running of her recital. It was set to raga Hamsadhwani and adi tala. Vrata continued her recital with the impressive portrayal of Sathyabhama from Lekha episode of Bhama Kalapam. Deeply agitated over her separation from Lord Krishna, Satyabhama pours her heart into a letter asking her Lord to come back to her. Vrata concluded her recital with the very popular, Ardhanarishwara, invoking the symbiotic image of the male and female halves of Lord Shiva, commendably portraying the forceful tandava and the graceful lasya of Shiva-Parvati.
Vrata Chigateri

Jayant Kastuar
The latter half of the evening, presented Kathak maestro Jayant Kastuar, in his memorable lecture demonstration. Kastuar, better known as an art administrator as Secretary of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, is an artiste of great repute. An eminent disciple of legendary Pt Durga Lal of Jaipur gharana of Kathak, Kastuar enlightened and entertained everyone with his mastery over his art. He took the audiences on the enjoyable journey of the form through subtleties of rhythm, tala, laya, bhava and footwork. With his interactive description and detailed technical aspects of Upaj, That, Uthan, Chakkar, etc. he captivated all. Hints of characters and actions in explaining Ghat nikas evoked interest and appreciation in rasikas.

It was a great evening well spent. World Dance Alliance, Karnataka Chapter, must be congratulated for organising such programs.