SARAT CHANDRA

Kumkum Mohanty impressed the gathering with her performance.

Mukteswara temple complex of Bhubaneswar was the venue for the four-day Odissi dance festival that began on January 14. Everything, starting from the light arrangements at the 10th century heritage site to the dance items appealed to the audience's imagination. For example, Sthapatya Satya choreographed by Alok Kanungo and presented by her school Shinjan Nrityalaya was well researched and presented. The word `Bandha' is associated with certain cultural expressions such as Bandha Kavya, Bandha Chitra, Bandha Nrutya, Baandha Prabandha. A poem in the Bandha Kavya category is of complex nature and different from usual form of poetry. It draws inspiration from the theme of Sri Krishna and Gopis. In a painting, young Gopis are shown riding a chariot or elephant with Sri Krishna as the Sarathy (rider). Bandha Nrutya is more like acrobatics, which Gotipua (small boys dressed like girls) teams perform.Alok Kanungo used two categories of artistes eight Gotipua boys and eight girls in Odissi costume. While the Odissi dancers expressed the themes in classical Odissi dance the Gotipua artistes presented the same in acrobatics. It was a delight to watch Alok Kanungo's experiment on the third evening of the festival.Kumkum Mohanty was also impressive in her expressional item based on a song Hey bana giri hey latagiri from Biswanath Khuntia's Bichitra Ramayana. The item, depicting Sita's admiration for the unreal golden deer and Ravana's guileful ways to kidnap her, was full of high drama and Kumkum brought into life the inherent histrionics. On the second, third and fourth evenings among other items Pallavi, the pure dance, was presented as a solo and group recitals. Delhi-based Kavita Dwibedi danced Bajrakanti Pallavi, Cuttack-based couple Rasmiranjan and Itisree Jena presented Anand Bhairabi Pallavi and Bhubaneswar-based Srujan presented Bagesri Pallavi as a group item. Pallavi as a pure dance has some characteristic features, such as softness and grace (it derives its name from Sanskrit `Pallava' which means new leaf). The three Pallavi items (solo, duet and group) were presented by Guru Krushan Charan Behera, Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena and upcoming Ratikanta Mohapatra respectively. All the three proved their mettle with their compositions. The rays of the rising sun at Mukteswar signalled revival of Odissi dance.