Dance Dance

Kathak in focus


Antarang got off to an impressive start with Nalini-Kamalini duo and students of Mangala Bhatt

Sisters Vidushi Nalini and Kamalini Asthana from Delhi presented the Varanasi Gharana style on the inaugural day of the two-day Antarang festival 2019 organised by Aakruti Kathak Kendra eld in memory of Kathak Maestro Pt Durga Lal.

The sisters had also danced at Kailash Mansarovar in 2003, setting a world record for dancing at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

The mesmerisingdance recital by the sisters at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad, held the audience spellbound.

They began their performance with an elaborate Shiva Stuthi (chautaal-12 beats) in Dhrupad style with slokas on Shiva, Om Namah Shivaya and Chandrama Lalat ..., sprinkled with pure dance movements using Shiva Stuthi bols. Having danced in tandem over the years, the duo displayed excellent coordination and perfect timing. This was followed by Jhaap Tal in Raag Durga, where the dancers made the audience realise how the anklets on the feet speak and have a beautiful rhythmic pattern. The Daad and Alankar, beauty of the body movements was well appreciated. With their guru Jitendra on the Padant, Nalini and Kamalini presented the Meed and transported the rasikas to another level, with the delicate Gat nikaas of ghunghat (veil), Radha ka Pardah.

Kathak in focus

Before each presentation, the sisters explained the piece they were going to perform, thus raising awareness and appreciation among the uninitiated audience as well as upcoming Kathak dancers.

The evening was replete with simple themes that were entrenched within various compositions of Radha pining for her beloved Krishna. They presented exclusive nritta bols of the tabla with beautiful bhav and perfectly-timed footwork.

The sisters ended their recital with a question-answer session with the audience. Nalini and Kamalini were ably supported by Akbar Latif on the tabla, Nalini Nigam on the vocal, Afzal on the violin and their guru Jitendra on the padant.

Earlier, the inaugural presentation by students of Aakruti Kathak Kendra titled ‘Prahar’ was based on age-old Puranas according to which the day is divided into eight Prahars — four from from sunrise to sunset and another four from sunset to sunrise.

The students began with the traditional ode to Vinayaka with Vakratunda Mahakaya, followed by Uttath Baaj Murali showcasing Gopikas waiting for their playmate in Brindavan Kunj. In another presentation, Gopikas ask how can they go home, if Krishna stops them.

Apt facial expressions, perfect swirls and footwork marked these dances. The Prahars of the ragas were for Ahir Bhairav, Bhairav, Alaiya Bilawal, Vrindavan Sarang, Puria Dhanashree, Jog, Bhageshree and Bhairavi and culminated with Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya.

Guru Mangala Bhatt had not only choreographed the pieces, but was also on the Padant, leading her students from the front; she was ably supported on the vocals by Urvaja and Gopi Kumar, by Uday Kumar on tabla, Nanda Kumar on sitar and Dattatreya on flute.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 5:32:21 AM |

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