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A festival that stands apart

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PERFECT PAIR Ramesh and Madhusmita on the stage.
PERFECT PAIR Ramesh and Madhusmita on the stage.

SHYAMHARI CHAKRA

`Jugalbandi' encourages experiment with the formal aspects of the dance form while keeping the Odissi tradition intact.

There is no dearth of dance festivals in India. However, `Jugalbandi' stands apart for its unique concept. Into its third year, the two-day festival organised by senior Odissi dancer Sujata Mishra's institution Mokshya brings a male and a female dancer on the stage as duet performers."Orissa has no dearth of talented dancers but it is a pity to find that men end up merely as gurus while women hardly don the role of guru and choreographer. The festival is an attempt to fill the gap,'' explained Sujata. The festival further encourages experiment with the formal aspects of the dance form while keeping the Odissi tradition intact. The festival format has been designed to do away with the orthodox performing repertoire of `mangalacharan" to `mokshya', she added.Of the eight pairs of dancers who displayed their talents, Ramesh Chandra Jena and Madhusmita Mohanty (disciples of young and versatile choreographer Bichitrananda Swain) stood apart. If `jugalbandi' is all about complementing each other on stage, the real-life couple excelled in it while presenting Surya Stutee and Naba Durga, the later being the most favourite composition of Pankaj Charan Das, the guru of gurus of Odissi dance.The other dancer-duo who impressed the audience were Rajashri Chintak and Debashis Pattnaik in the distinct Debaprasad Das style. Young Debashis, disciple of Durga Charan Ranbir, has emerged as a brilliant dancer with an excellent body language, grace and spontaneity. The best choreographic composition came from young Odissi and Chhau dancer Ashok Ghosal who presented a dance feature Dharman Sharanam Gachhami based on the life of Gautama Buddha in which he performed as the protagonist with perfection. The young dancer who has just made his foray into choreography showed signs of promise that was evident in the narrative, scene sequences, costume and even light designing aspects. Among others, senior danseuse Minakshi Behera and Puspita Mishra put up a restrained performance despite lack of chemistry from their counterparts.


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