Dance

Naman festival showcases dexterity, charm and acrobatics

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The two-day Naman festival brought masters and disciples onto a single stage

The tenth edition of 'Naman', a festival of Odissi dance, organized by Nrityantar and spearheaded by dancer Madhulita Mohapatra once again celebrated various styles of the dance form by leading exponents of the dance as well as students. The two day event, held at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore, was a crowd puller.

On the first day, Nrityantar ensemble delighted the audience with their Malhar Pallavi. Akshithi Roy Chaudhury was another show stealer, who, with her perfect charis and stances came up with Mohana Pallavi in the slow speed, and further charmed with her precision and footwork in the faster cadence. Madhulita Mahapatra’s abhinaya stood out in an ashtapadi ‘Ramathe Yamuna pulinavane’. She captured the swift change in emotions, of Radha’s sorrow and lament as she sketched Krishna’s dalliance with other gopis.

The legend of the little ‘Dharmapada’ who sacrifices his life after he completes building the dome of Konark temple was depicted by a group of young dancers who tried to give their best, and it stood out for the verve and expression of the main character portrayed by the young Angelina Avnee.

The second day of the festival featured thematic productions by three dance companies. The first was a production premiere of Nrityantar’s ‘Mirza Sahiba’. This is based on one of the five folk legends of Punjab, the others being Laila Majnu, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnuh and Heer Ranjha.

As Madhulita gave life to the role of the young and beautiful Sahiba, Paridhi Joshi remarkably played the character of the strong archer Mirza. Sonali Mohanty essayed the role of Raiwat, brother of Sahiba, who, in his pride and valor, kills Mirza. The introduction of the male characters in a market scene was conceptualized well with acrobatic and masculine dance movements and martial art sequences. Sahiba, unlike other Punjabi tragic heroines like Laila, Heer and Sohni, betrays Mirza’s trust, as she breaks his arrows to prevent bloodshed. High drama marked the killing of Mirza and the subsequent death of Sahiba which was steeped in sentimentalism. Narratives and playback dialogues enhanced the dramatic quality. Dramatic techniques were used, but not overdone.

Naman festival showcases dexterity, charm and acrobatics

Sanjali dance ensemble’s performance was bleak as their choreography on Ganga lacked clarity and innovativeness. The dancers tried to depict the flow of the river, its enormity and the Ganga aarti. An amateurish performance of a pallavi in the beginning lacked finesse and detail.

Orissa Dance Academy from Bhubaneswar showcased their thematic work ‘Amazing Orissa’, which traced the history and evolution of the land, its people and their life. ‘Chandan yatra’ where the lord is smeared in sandal and taken on a boat ride in the heat of summer was captured in all its visual splendour as dancers came with maddala, cymbals and other props. Choreography saw effective use of stage space and attention to craft. Tribal life was highlighted showing scenes from hunting and martial dances with their strong folksy flavour.

It also featured well the progression of the Odissi dance from the Mahari and Gotipua traditions. The ‘ahaarya’, evolution of mangalacharan, and Pallavi from Gotipua tradition were illustrated splendidly. Young Gotipua dancers took the stage by storm with their acrobatics and dexterity to thunderous applause from the audience.

In the same production, Madhusmita Mohanty and other artistes also paid tribute to women from the legends, like Kunti and Draupadi, through episodes from Mahabharata. Senior dancer Leema Bhol featured the plight of Kunti in her infatuation for the sun god and their union which was high on histrionics and drama. Naman and Odissi dance, which has made a marked presence in Bangalore city, was well received by the art loving gathering in Bangalore.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:38:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/dexterity-charm-and-acrobatics/article29221755.ece

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