Digital Stage Dance

An offering to counter the pandemic

Prabal Gupta

Prabal Gupta  

An online event found seven dancers invoking divine power for relief

Some technical snags notwithstanding, the two-day online fest presented by ‘Art from India’ showcased the richness of Indian classical tradition.

Seven dancers, each from a different stream, came up with a crisp 15-minute presentation. The performances were all stated to be prayers to drive away the evil virus that has struck mankind across the globe.

Opening the show was Kathakali dancer Prabal Gupta in Stree Vesham (impersonation). He took up the popular Siva stuti from Markandeya Charitam (his guru Sadanand Balakrishnan’s choreography) for exposition with utmost coherence. His large expressive eyes spoke eloquently to match his abhinaya (haava-bhava) as he described the crescent moon, which adorns lord Siva, who is seated with his divine consort and the beseeching devotee.

The episodes of the Mandara mountain and Tripura samhara were metaphors for divine force in action to save the earth from calamity. The trident, the deer, skull, etc., were shown with artistic grace and clarity. The artiste’s command over his medium was laudable. The footwork and eye movement were particularly impressive. If anything went awry, it was the poor acoustics.

Bhavana Reddy

Bhavana Reddy  

Bhavana Reddy’s Kuchipudi was a tad disappointing. Devi Stuti in Sindhubhairavi was a mechanical eulogy of the goddess though Bhavana’s movements were perfect. The soul seemed to be lacking in this piece and the next Tarana, which was a pure dance to mnemonics. The lack of coordination with the camera blocked her footwork to the viewer.

Arupa Panda

Arupa Panda  

Odissi dancer Arupa Gayatri Panda’s Madhurashtakam was as breezy as the Krishna of Gokul who teased the gopis, stole butter, vanquished the serpent Kaliya, sheltered his people under the Govardhan and so on. These interesting anecdotes were presented by Arupa with crisp footwork, fine abhinaya and graceful movements.

Pavitra Bhatt

Pavitra Bhatt  

Pavitra Bhatt gave a brief and brisk presentation with Kamakshi suprabhatam and Siva raksha stotram in Tillana format in keeping with the theme of this fest. His agility and adherence to tala being his hallmarks, both the pieces were commendable. Again, there was a hitch with the camera, which distorted an otherwise creditable performance.

Anita Sharma

Anita Sharma   | Photo Credit: CV Subrahmanyam

Sattriya artiste Anita Sharma danced with alacrity to Krsna Vandana but for the most part, her entire frame was not captured by the camera and we didn’t get to see her footwork as much as we would have liked to.

Sinam Basu Singh

Sinam Basu Singh   | Photo Credit: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

Sinam Basu Singh elucidated Siva Panchakshara with excellence and elan. His movements were marked by masculine grace and lucid abhinaya. The diverse expression to illustrate river Mandakini in the second verse was noteworthy.

Shambhavi Dandekar’s Kathak was a neat presentation against a spacious backdrop with no glitches in transmission.

This online fest under the aegis of NRI Ajayveer Chapotkat was marred by technical snags. Anchor Sadhana Shrivastav’s picture kept interfering with the dance, off and on, even after her brief introductions were done. As such fests are expected to become a common feature, the organiser would do well to tie up all loose ends to present a perfect picture.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 12:21:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/an-offering-to-counter-the-pandemic/article31580853.ece

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