Naman, the Odissi festival, had some very good performances
Naman featured the seasoned Odissi danseuse Sharmila Mukherjee with her “Sita Haran”. She presented a 30-minute ekaharya dramatic episode choreographed by Padmabhibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and enthralled the aficionados.
Tastefully costumed, Sharmila sensitively portrayed the characters and reached the zenith of portrayal when she characterised Ravana. The subsequent Jatayu episode, Sharmila's portrayal of Jatayu was so aesthetically executed with minute subtlety that it brought tears to the viewers eyes. Sangeeta Dash from Orissa followed next. “Surya Astakam” with the lyrics “Tang Suryayam Pranamamiyam” interspersed with awesome vaittaris and neat chowks speaks for the dancer's virtuosity. “Yahi Madhava, Yahi Keshava” portraying Radha as a khandita nayika was exemplary.
Amulya Balabantaray commenced his recital with “Ta Tha, Dhai, Ta Dhai Tari Jhom” Pallavi set to raga Devgandhari in Taal Yati. Choreographed by Bichitrananda Swain, the mesmerising circular movements with neat chowks and tribhangis marked the dancer's conscientiousness and perseverance with which he has mastered the artistry of the form.
The lyrical permutation and combination of the charis culminating into an increased laya with the dancer's capability of handling the same to high level of perfection definitely deserves a standing applause. The denouement of his performance came with a abhinaya piece “Devi Mahakali” commencing with the lyrics “Om Khargam”. The dancer's capability in handling the artistry of abhinaya and blending with tandava and lasya provided a beautiful effect.
Uday and Soumya, commenced their recital with Saveri pallavi with Uday performing the abhinaya piece in Oriya “Tolagi”. They performed with zest and spoke of their allegiance to the art form.
However, the best performance of the evening was by Pankaj Kumar Pradhan.
Commencing his recital with a Moksha in praise of Goddess Durga, one must respect his assiduous training for the dance form, which was palpably portrayed in all the three items he performed.
Neat chowks and tribhangis, usage of sankha as a sacred metaphor in his first piece with superb quality recorded music augmented the overall effect of his performance. “Varsha” choreographed by Aruna Mohanty was marked for its brilliance usage of gait.
Good usage of the proscenium to depict the increase in the rain and its subsequent ripples was brought out by subtle abhinaya mastered over premeditated practice over years.
Pankaj concluded his recital with “Madhurashtakam” choreographed by the late Pankaj Charan Das.