Turning the spotlight on folk arts

The NCPA Mumbai dance season this year featured folk and classical performers from across the country

NCPA Mumbai Dance season had the young and old of the dance fraternity participating. It featured diverse genres of dance, workshops, lecture demonstrations, fitness guidance, screening of documentaries and outreach programmes, spread over different venues of the city and its suburbs for over a month.

The season opened with seven folk forms, curated by Uma Rele and Gayatri Subramaniam at the Sunken Garden, NCPA. There were veterans in the respective fields sharing their knowledge. The guided archival video viewing featured the conversation between Darshana Jhaveri and Swapnokalpa Dasgupta; talk on folk dances of Maharashtra by Prof. Prakash Khandge and a speech on relevance of sastras in Kathak repertoire today by Dr. Puru Dadheech. Expression through Mime and Mohiniyattom was demonstrated by Niranjan Goswami and Gopika Varma respectively.

NCPA Nritya Parichay Folk Dance Training for School Children - Annual Performance by Students Organised by NCPA at Tata Theatre, NCPA on 11/03/2019. Photo By : NARENDRA DANGIYA

NCPA Nritya Parichay Folk Dance Training for School Children - Annual Performance by Students Organised by NCPA at Tata Theatre, NCPA on 11/03/2019. Photo By : NARENDRA DANGIYA  

‘My father, my mother, my natya,’ workshop by Anand Satchidanandam at Sion, ‘Unnati,’ an interactive workshop by Pavitra Bhat at Dombivili, ‘Fitness in dance,’ an online event by Prachi Saathe with Gaurav Bidre were good examples of youth initiatives.

Workshop on folk, Mohiniyattom and Kalari was by Jayaprabha Menon and folk dances of Gujarat was by Avani Shah and troupe.

Other subjects related to dance were also on the menu. Light workshop was presented by Sushant Jadhav, Pathkrit Mukherjee and Nivedita Mukherjee while lec-dem on make up for dance was by Kiran Vardam.

On the classical performing side, viewers were spoilt for choices. Aesthetics of Manodharma in Bharatanatyam was a detailed lec-dem by Dr. Rajashree Warrier that was followed by her presentation at the inaugural of the annual Natyanjali festival at Subramania Samaj, Chembur.

Turning the spotlight on folk arts

Kathak by Sunil Sunkara and Tanvi Palav explored ‘Shree’ through dance and dialogue, ‘Ek Darohar’ was on women empowerment by Pratap Pawar and Asavari Pawar.‘Spandan’, Odissi by Shashwati Garai Ghosh and Bharatanatyam margam by Jyotsna Jagannathan were held at the Experimental theatre, NCPA in association with Kalavaahini Trust.

Purbita Mukherjee hosted Basantostab, (initiative of Tagore) at Navi Mumbai and celebrated spring through dance. Bandra cultural utsav, curated by Nandini Ashok, featured flute concert and Marathi natya sangeet. Sitar recital by Neeladri Kumar and ‘Journey to divinity’ Odissi performance by Subhada Varadkar was presented at Nehru centre, Worli, under the aegis of Sanskriti Foundation and Vivekananda Youth Forum.

Turning the spotlight on folk arts

‘Vande Mataram’ was a two-in-one event. Kathak dances ignited the pride of our traditions followed by interactive discussions moderated by Shila Mehta. ‘The Saggy Baggy Elephant stories’ through music, dance and theatre was presented by Kaishiki Nrityabhasha led by Daksha Mashruwala. Prateesha Suresh hosted Sattriya dance festival. ‘Kadambam’, meaning a strand of mixed flowers, was a mélange of different genres of classical natya, organised by Gayatri Subramaniam of G.V. Ramani Natya Kala Foundation. IIDF provided well attended performances for upcoming artistes in classical, folk and contemporary at the amphitheatre, Upvan Thane.

NCPA Nritya Parichay Folk Dance Training for School Children - Annual Performance by Students Organised by NCPA at Tata Theatre, NCPA on 11/03/2019. Photo By : NARENDRA DANGIYA

NCPA Nritya Parichay Folk Dance Training for School Children - Annual Performance by Students Organised by NCPA at Tata Theatre, NCPA on 11/03/2019. Photo By : NARENDRA DANGIYA  

The outreach programme, led by Swapnokalpa Dasgupta took dance awareness and training to every nook and corner of the vast city: Andheri, Sewri, Bandstand, Vikhroli, Nerul, Powai. Post the season, underprivileged children from various schools performed dance forms from Manipuri to martial arts at the NCPA .

The Finale at the Tata theatre curated by Dr. Sandhya Purecha and Gauri Tripathi Sharma, opened with Purvaranga by Jayashree Rajagopalan and disciples.

Evolved by Padma Subrahmanyam, the presentation was notable for family commitment, Vaishnavi Anand (vocal), Aditya Rajagopalan (mridangam), V. Anand (violin) with Jayashree and Aishwarya Harish in the dance ensemble.

The nuances of pure dance was brought out by Uma Dogra and disciples in a crisp Tarana in raag Megha and teen taal (cycle of 16 beats). “ Meticulously trained disciples in aesthetically colour coded costumes, executed the fast and rhythmic segments with precision. The joy in ‘ghumad ghumad’ was communicated well.

Shubhada Varadkar and disciples presented the philosophy of Neti, deploying Nirvana Shatakam of Adi Sankara. Chidanandaroopam of Siva was portrayed through different postures and graphic formations. The fluidity of movements of Ganesha was seen in ‘Shravan Sundar Naam Ganpati’ in Bhimpalasi, presented by Kathak exponent Manjari Deo and disciples. The quick moves in swaras, dancers as mooshikas swaying in end poses, the guru entering and exiting seamlessly for the abhinaya portions while the disciples dancing the rhythmic sequences, the group moving round the huge stage in bhajan format — the effect was dramatic.

Natyacharya Kalyanasundaram Pillai, the oldest living Nattuvanar, wielded the cymbals for the Thodi varnam ‘Danike’ ( Rupakam, Thanjavur quartet) . Neatly nuanced traditional jatis, the serene sancharis and padarth abhinaya were gracefully rendered by Bharati Salil (granddaughter of guru Mahalingam Pillai) and Sruti Natanakumar (granddaughter of guru Kalyanasundaram). It was inspiring to watch and hear Harikrishna on the nattuvangam with his father, Vidya Harikrishna on the vocal with Chaitanya Harikrishna on the mridangam. Shivkumar Anantharaman’s violin notes were equally comforting.

Daksha Mashruwala’s Kaishiki Dance Academy celebrated woman in her various names, forms and faces as Durga, Saraswati, Kalyani, Sohini and Bhageswari. The essence of Odissi grace was brought out beautifully by the guru and disciples.

Mandakini Trivedi and Aneri Sheth presented Kamadeva Nritya (Ragamalika, Adi). Rati and Kama arrive on a parrot, carrying a fish flag, sugarcane bow, bowstring of bees and flowers. Kama, son of goddess Lakshmi churns minds, intoxicates and enslaves, causing attraction and inertia. His arrows target everyone, even Siva the yogi was not spared.

Jhelum Paranjape with her disciples chose Pallavi, pure dance, highly lyrical, to bring out the grace of Odissi. Slow fluid movements of the body were interspersed with poses, rising to a fast tempo of whirling movements with intricate footwork and body kinetics. The Pallavi combined the choreography of guru Kelucharan Mohapatra blending with choreography by Paranjape.

Vinod Hansal and group covered the huge stage with sheer numbers. The combined interaction of nine pakhawaj, nine drums and djembe with Kathak created effective magic. The assembly set the tone, one beat at a time, creating drone sounds, pacing with pakhawaj impacts and drum reverberations.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:32:59 PM |

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