Dance Nrityagram's recital in Thrissur was marked by choreographic ingenuity.

Nrityagram's Odissi recital in Thrissur was a sublime experience. Awe-inspiring artistry of the dancers apart, what made the performance memorable was captivating choreography.

The hour-and-a-half recital began with an invocation to Ganesha. It was a sequence of vigorous dances that ensued as three dancers entered the stage one after the other. Tandava of Siva, lasya of Parvathy and endearing behaviour of Ganesha et. al. unfolded to the beat of bold rhythmic syllables. The nritta in unison was quite alluring.

The Pallavi ‘Ritu Vasanth' was captivating on account of the short but sculpturesque poses of the dancers. Interestingly, ‘tribanga,' the characteristic posture of the dance form, eye movements and intricate footwork all served to portray the literal meaning of the Pallavi – ‘blossoming.' Choreographed by Surupa Sen, a disciple of the late danseuse Protima Bedi, the number was an exploration of the raga through the medium of pure dance. It was dedicated to Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi who had composed the music for it.

Abhinaya is an indispensable feature in the repertoire of Odissi. The sahithya for this was taken from an Oriya hymn composed by Muslim poet Salabega, an ardent devotee of Lord Jagannatha (Vishnu).

The choreography by Kelucharan Mahapatra provided enough scope for abhinaya as anecdotes from ‘Prahaladacharitam,' ‘Panchali vastrakshepam' and so on were brought into the piece. Pavithra Reddy, the youngest of the dancers, presented it with élan.

Unabridged Ashtapadi

The Ashtapadi for the performance was the much sought-after ‘Dheerasa mere, Yamuna theere; Vasathi vane vanamaali.' The choreographic ingenuity of Surupa was revealed in this number in which Radha and Sakhi were portrayed by Surupa and Bijayini Satpati, respectively. Radha's very posture at the beginning of the number was evocative of how far she was lost in thoughts about Krishna. The rasa of sringara was sublimated through the bewitching abhinaya of the two. Moreover the Ashtapadi was performed in full unlike the abridged version that has become common.

The recital concluded with ‘Vibhaktha,' based on the Ardhanareeswara Stothram of Sankaracharya. Performed by herself and Bijayini, it won generous applause from the audience.

The performance was organised by Thalam Cultural Trust.