Dance ‘Pravah' featured group presentations of Odissi and Kathak. Harish Bal

‘P ravah,' a two-day dance festival in Kochi, featured a variety of group presentations. Sharmila Biswas and her troupe performed Odissi dance on the first day. After ‘Abahan,' an invocation to Lord Ganesh, the dancers presented ‘Gathivilas,' describing the attributes of a dancer with respect to her gait, expressions and energy.

In ‘Shoorpanakha,' she portrayed the conflicting emotions of the demon princess. At times, all the dancers simultaneously expressed different sentiments of the character.

In addition to Sharmila, Shaswati Ghosh was another dancer who impressed with her grace and agility. Sharmila's abhinaya was noteworthy. She portrayed Shoorpanaka's infatuation with Rama, her disfiguration, anger and wounded pride, with dramatic effect. ‘Moorchana' was a rhythmic number, exploring the possibilities of the mridangam that culminated in the music of the cymbals.

Abhimanyu Lal and Vidha Lal presented Kathak on the second day. In ‘Shiva Shakthi,' through many pirouettes and rapid movements, the dancers celebrated the glory and grandeur of Lord Shiva. ‘Holi,' based on the romance of Radha and Krishna, was set in taal dhamaar of 14 beats.

Grace and jubilance marked the piece of festivity. The piece de resistance was ‘Chandni' by Vidha Lal. The dancer achieved a balance of expressional and physical dance in the piece that portrayed the clandestine escapades of the nayika on moonlit nights. The ‘gat-bhav,' in the theme is interpreted through mime without the use of songs. Perfection of technique was the hallmark of Vidha's dance. As the dancers proceeded to more intricate items, the costume changes to brighter shades were interesting.

The ‘tarana' was performed with due rhythmic emphasis on the musical notations. The closing portion of the item had all the dancers in a long sequence culminating in a crescendo. The festival was organised by India International Rural Cultural Centre and Kerala Fine Arts Society.