Ode to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra

The ninth edition of Kelucharan Guna Keertanam featured varied dance forms and myriad themes

The ninth edition of the Kelucharan Guna Keertanam festival curated and convened by Dr. Aparupa Chatterjee, artistic director of Odissi Dance Company, and ODC in association with Nalanda Dance Research Centre, was presented at Kanakasabha.

“Guruji has left behind vibrant memories that will stay with us for a lifetime. It is the duty of disciples to carry forward his priceless legacy, in performing, teaching and in recognizing artistic merit in our environment,” adds Aparupa.

ODC aims at an international cultural exchange and a global arts initiative through encouraging America born Odissi students to bring Odissi dance in the Srjan style back to the Indian community.

Preetisha Mohapatra, daughter and disciple of Sujata Mohapatra, began with a Vinayaka stotram. She also performed a pallavi in ‘Purnanga baradi’ with neat body lines.

Aleena Acharya’s Yahi Madhava was an emotive journey bringing out the pangs of Radha. The ashtapadi choreographed by Kelucharan Mohapatra was set in Sindhubhairavi, Taal Triputa.

Jhelum Paranjape presented ‘Bhakti,’ an abhinaya, based on Chokha Mela’s abhangs, transporting viewers to a spiritual plane. Chokha was 14th Century Saint of Maharashtra.

Music composed by Manoj Desai, choreographed and presented by Jhelum, the piece was steeped in sensitivity.

Aruna Mohanty clarified through her recital that the hero is not relevant without the anti-hero. Pratinayaka is a concept based on Indian aesthetics where he is a prototype of the Nayaka. Researched material rendered with creative methodology by Aruna added to visual delight.

“I am therefore you are,” this existential monologue of Pratinayaka in every age in Indian mythology, was echoed by Aruna. In Satya yuga it was Narasimha and Hiranyakashipu, in Treta yuga — Rama and Ravana, in Dwapara it was Krishna and Kamsa and in Kali yuga, Kali itself is Pratinayaka. Devil and divinity represented by both nayaka and pratinayaka can be discovered in every soul, in every human being.

Text from Bhagavata Mahapurana, lyrics and linking by Kedar Mishra, music composition by Ramhari Das, rhythm composition by Dhaneswar Swain and Bijaya Kumar Barik, dance choreography by Aruna Mohanty enabled a comprehensive and convincing production.

Aparupa Chatterjee, senior disciple of Ratikant Mohapatra and a former repertory dancer of Srjan, chose Brajaku chora asichi, an Oriya abhinaya piece in Ananda Bhairavi and was convincing in her portrayal. An appealing composition by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, reflecting the timeless maternal instincts, the love and patience of mother Yashoda in her endless efforts to put Krishna to sleep was presented by Aparupa, with endearing vatsalya rasa.

Aparupa and disciples presented an intelligently choreographed ‘Vande Mataram’. Set in raag Desh, the well-choreographed and well-coordinated group presentation led by Aparupa Chatterjee included Yashaswini Rraghuram, Divya Srinivasa, Divya Chowdhary, Tanvi Prasad and Pritika Sen.

Stories of Rama and Krishna

Perfect technique and polished grace were the hallmarks of Sujata Mohapatra’s presentation of select excerpts from the Ramayana.

Donning multiple roles with quick changes in stance, Sujata conveyed the essence of the epic with dexterity and dramatic delineation.

After a series of Odissi pieces, Sukanya Kumar presented a tillana in Brindavana Saranga, followed by a Sammohana Krishna stotram in Bharatanatyam format. Her presentation was fast-paced interlaced with sculpted stances and suitable bhava conveying a sense of soothing sobriety.

It was home ground for Deepak Mazumdar, senior performer, alumni and faculty of Nalanda. As customary he impacted with his prowess in abhinaya.

Krishna prevails upon Yashoda to tell him a bed time story. As she relates the story of Rama, Krishna finds a connect and orders Lakshmana to give him his weapons. Yashoda, innocent mother attributes this behavior to some black magic and evil eye spell. The lyrics from Krishna Karnamrutam was explicitly expressed through communicative facial expressions.

Vaidehi Rele, granddaughter of Kanak Rele, presented Sundara Gopalam, from Krishnashtakam, with involvement.

Mera Shyam by Utsav Music, produced and conceptualised by Churchill Pandian, music scored by Praveen D Rao, was an interesting synthesis of poetry, music, movement and moods, a compact capsule that highlighted Krishna cognizance.

Presented in well-knit segments of Kuchipudi by Prateeksha Kashi, Kathak by Rujuta Soman, Bharatanatyam by Vaidehi Rele, Odissi by group from ODC, Mera Shyam celebrated Krishna as the Divine Lover. It was a symbiotic, symbolical sequencing, suggesting how the jeevatma is ever in pursuit of the Paramatma.

After a brief introductory ensemble by the group, Prateeksha opened with Pravesha Dharuvu of Satyabhama.

Shakunalu Dharuvu was set in Mohanam and Chaturashra Ekam.

Rujuta Soman showcased Mira. Through agile movements she brought out the independence of Mira’s love and devotion.

Vaidehi Rele presented the Krishna ashtakam of vallabhacharya in Ragamalika, talam Adi. Interwoven with slokam Kasturi tilakam and nritta jatis describing the apparent and inner qualities of Krishna, the piece was presented with elegance and élan.

In conclusion, ODC presented Chandana Charchita, ashtapadi choreographed by Aparupa. Set in abhang style, with music by O.S Arun it was all about the Krishna’s pranks with the gopis in the Brindavan, as described to Radha by her Sakhi. The gopis beaming and rejoicing was the perfect finale to Mera Shyam.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:12:38 PM |

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