The duo transported the audience into the world of romance.
Even in chilly winter, Ratikant Mohapatra, an emerging choreographer and legendary guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's son, and his wife Sujata, Odissi's best-known soloists today, teamed up together this week on the occasion of the 11th anniversary celebration of the Cuttack-based Gunjan Dance Academy. The duo transported the audience into the wonderful world of the romantic rains of poet Kalidas. The Academy took this opportunity to felicitate Sujata for her outstanding contribution to the growing popularity of the dance form internationally. Ratikant, who is being hailed for his choreographies like Allah and Bhaja Govindam, presented his latest composition Barsha, based upon Rutu Samhara, the immortal work of Kalidas. It depicts the ecstasy and agony of a lovelorn lady and the world around her set against the backdrop of the romantic rains during the monsoon that has just set in. As the raindrops start dancing on the earth, the peacock, the deer, the snake and the elephant cannot stay behind. Joining them are thousands of flowers that keep on tossing against the wind. While Ratikant had harmoniously blended elements of lasya and tandav, besides bringing together pure dance with expressional dance into the piece that enhanced its beauty, Sujata seemed made for the composition. Her dance in trance was magical and mesmerising. The way she transforms into a mood or a character and then takes a smooth transition into the other is the hallmark of this star dancer. And eloquent Sujata executed it with ease. Light designer Jayadev Das did a commendable job in enhancing the presentation of the piece. The blue background juxtaposed against the red costume-clad dancer added a mystic touch to the visual treat. Music scored by Raghunath Panigrahi, however, failed to match the peerless dance performance. The evocative mood and tonal clarity in vocalist Bijay Kumar Jena was missing.