Of euphoria and grace in dancing devotion
"> The festival left many evocative memories of euphoria.
The fourth installment of Chhayanaut's classical dance festival wrapped up on November 9, but the festival left many evocative memories of euphoria. Noted danseuse Tamanna Rahman set off the concluding day's festival with performing a Manipuri piece “Abhisharika”, originally choreographed and music directed by Guru Bipin Singh, at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut.
The form has its own specific aesthetics, values and conventions. The cult of Radha and Krishna, particularly the Raaslila, is central to its themes. Tamanna Rahman beautifully depicted the Rasa of Shringar through acting out a pining heart craving for embracing the divine Krishna.
Accomplished artiste Warda Rihab was next to take the stage to showcase a superb Manipuri piece “Tanum”. Guru Bipin Singh choreographed it inspired by Nat Shongkirttan that is generally presented in Manipur, India. Subrata Das also presented a Manipuri piece “Goshthe Bidaye Jachon”, enacting Lord Krishna's seeking for approval from his mother Yashoda on the way to Goshtha. Artistes of “Nritym Nrityashilan Kendra” offered Mondira Natyam portraying the saga of Radha-Krishna'a jhulanjatra at the festival.
Several artistes of Chhayanaut presented two Bharatnatyam themes -- “Ganesh Bandana,” highlighting devotion for the Shiddhidata and “Alaripu,” depicting mystic union of souls through their delicate gestures, postures and balanced movements. Artistes of Jago Art centre presented “Tilana,” a popular and rhythmic piece of Bharatanatyam at the festival. Guru Belayet Hossain Khan choreographed both the performance. Bharatnatyam soloists -- Salma Begum Munni performed “Oshtapadi” while Shukla Sarkar presented another genre at the festival.
Depicting the grace and glamour of Gaudiya Nritya, noted artiste Rachel Priyanka Perris got immersed in the speedy yet immaculate throwing of mudra, expressions and emotion while acting out Rakkhushi Putona who falls dead to kill Krishna with order from Kangsa. The performance, set on raga Mala, was choreographed by Professor Mahua Mukherjee. Present Dean of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (India), Professor Mahua Mukherjee, with her 30-year research, established the extinct classical dance form Gaudiya Nritya of Bengal.
Kathak was the last featured style of the evening. In its formative years, the dance form transitioned from temples to royal courts. The unparalleled popularity of Kathak occurred over time because of its incorporation with ghazal, thumri, tarana and dadra. Storytelling through dance is another feature of the genre. Two gharanas (school), Lucknow and Jaipur, are the hub of Kathak dance.
Nrityanchal artistes offered a riveting Kathak piece set mainly on Raga Hansadhwani. The aesthetic piece was choreographed by renowned artiste Shibly Mohammad. Four female artistes of Nrityanchal, joining in pairs in front of two mirrors, enthralled the swarming spectators with their euphoric expressions, speedy footwork and graceful mudra. The dancers stood out in their throwing of romantic gestures while dancing to a medley of sweet tunes of ragas -- Kafi, Khamaj and Pilu.
Set on a tarana on raga Kalavati, an accomplished Nrityanchal artiste Snata Shahrin told myriads stories of romance through her eye, chin and neck movements. The artiste seemed to enjoy every bit of the performance, swaying the audience as well. Snata generated a plethora of untainted sensuousness through the multitude graceful expressions. Another Nrityanchal soloist Kaniz Fatema nicely danced to a Pilu thmuri while Masum Hussain presented tukra, tehai, paran and lari of Kathak. Directed by Saju Ahmed, artistes of “Kathak Nritya Sampradaya” presented a Kathak piece set on Raga Malkauns at the festival.
Photo: Ridwan Adid Rupon