Kalahrnisham, hosted by Nishit Bajoria and Mamta Bajoria of Inkling, curated by Pavitra Bhatt, was a two-day festival held at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, main and mini hall. In a formal function the guests of honour, Guru Kalyanasundaram and art critic Sunil Kothari were felicitated.
“My aim is to create awareness about classical art forms, bring more audiences to the venue and give opportunity to young artistes by hosting them alongside senior dancers,” said Bajoria. For Pavitra Bhatt, who had stringed prominent artistes together, it was a dream come true.
Ably anchored by dancer Prachi Save Saathi, the inaugural evening showcased some of the best in the classical arena. Before they took to stage, students of Pavitra Bhatt presented a pushpanjali.
Kathak by Uma Dogra with Pt Kalinath Mishra on the tabla reached a rhythmic crescendo with Guru Kalyanasundaram applauding from the front row. The preludes on sarangi (Sandeep Mishra) and sitar (Alka Gujar) and vocal (Manoj Desai) added to the recital. Dogra presented ‘Sundara te dhyana,’ an abhang, aamad, taal dhamar (14 beats) and a bandish of Pt. Durgalal ‘Sakhi He.’ Ashtapadi was the crowning piece. Graceful chalan and jet speed chakkars by the guru, with the disciples joining in and a vibrant orchestra made the viewing enjoyable.
Aruna Mohanty’s Odissi presentation on recorded music and detailed narration, was philosophical in content. The innocent play of childhood, romantic youth and the physical limitations of old age were portrayed well. Kaumaram, youvana, and finally death, being carried on four shoulders with chants of Ram Naam and Hari Naam, highlighted the truth that life is but another stage, then why are you afraid?
Next piece was about Pratinayaka, the anti-hero and his claim “I am, therefore you are”. I am another prototype, my sins exist in your aura and my fall is your rise. The co-existence of divinity and the devil was showed through episodes of Ravana and Kali to highlight the victory of truth. The light effect was contributory and Aruna seated in a shower of light emoted well. But unnecessary smoke effect marred visual clarity.
Academician, Sanskrit scholar and Bharatanatyam exponent Sandhya Purecha began with a slokam on Tulja Bhavani and an alarippu. ‘Jagadamba Tuljapur Vasini’ in the full-throated voice of Shivaprasad and comforting mridangam strokes of Dakshinamurthy Pillai was soul-stirring. Neat gestures and perfect body posture in the alarippu was a study.
‘Manti Mahadeo Bhola’, Swarapada, raga Surutti centred on the jealousy of Parvati. Why call him ‘bhola’ when he houses the other woman, Ganga (‘Sar pe souten Ganga’), gives boons to Ravana, consumes poison in Kshirsagar manthan, etc. The attitude of Parvati showed in Purecha’s gait as she exited from the stage.
‘Ka chatura’ abhinaya padam in Kalyani, Adi talam brought out the viraha of the nayika. “I am not Shiva. It is my flowing hair not his jata, flowers on my hair not chandrakala, chandan on my body not vibhuti.”
The concluding ‘Aaji sonyacha divas’ was lilting and appealing. An emotional Purecha said, it was indeed a golden day as she was presenting Marathi nirupans taught by her guru Parvati Kumar, close to his 99th birth anniversary.
Day two featured Abha Mohan, Aparna Shastry, Gauri Diwakar, Ragini Chandrashekar, Rahul Acharya and Amrita Lahiri.