Solos on stage...


Since 2015, Debaprasad Nrutya Pratisthan, a charitable organisation, has been giving platform to young upcoming and established dancers by organising the “Gurukrupa Nrutya Samaroha” at Bhubaneswar. Noted Odissi dancer Gayatri Chand, a senior disciple of the late Odissi Guru Debaprasad Das and the founder and executive trustee of the Pratisthan, organises the solo festival single-handedly by presenting dancers not only of her Guru’s style but also of others, thus offering a wider exposure to different styles of Odissi. This year, Guru Gopikrushna Behera and Vidushi Bijayalaxmi Mohanty were felicitated.

The variety of presentations is gaining momentum each year in terms of quality and content. This year, the fare with one male and nine female dancers from different parts of the country were unconventional yet novel both in subject and execution. “In these three years, I have learnt to do better. Since last year we have been felicitating revered Gurus of Odissi. But the financial support to us from public sectors is inadequate and there is no support from the Government too. Arranging for funds and to continue the work is the most difficult part,” explains Gayatri.

But why only solos? Gayatri says: “Solos prove the training, understanding and individuality of the artist who has the freedom to explore and take his/her art to a high level. This is what I have tried to prove through this festival. The speciality this year is to bring along different styles of Odissi with the rare and unique style of Guru Surendranath Jena, represented by his daughter Pratibha Jena Singh and the composition of Guru Gopikrushna Behera and Sanatan Nayak by Jashaswini Swain. Further, my student Samikshya Pani performs Dwadasha Jyotirlingam which means pillars of light. They were established by Lord Shiva himself and are considered to be very sacred and powerful places of worship of Lord Shiva. I have researched a lot on the subject and composed the item in which all the 12 lingams viz. Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Vaidyanath Bhimashankar, Rameswaram, Nageshwar, Kashi Vishwanath, Trimbakeshwar, Kedarnath and Grishneshwar were featured. As far as my knowledge goes, this theme has never been worked upon as an item separately either in Odissi or in any classical dance form of India.”

The festival opened with “Durga Stuti” by Pranati Kuldeep from Adruta Children’s Home, Bhubaneswar, followed by Bajrakanti Pallavi, by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir’s disciple Trupti Smita from Bhanjanagar. Guru Gajendra Panda’s disciple from Srikakulam G. Nageswari showcased spontaneous abhinaya in “Manoudharana” which was highly impactful. Kasturi Pattanaik’s choreography of Gati Sammikruta Pattadeep Pallavi presented by Manikarnika from Delhi spoke of her training. Here the nritta was interspersed with movements of animals. Aparupa Patnaik from Rourkela won audience applause with her graceful rendition of “Srimati Sripati Vrundabaney Keli Rachili” choreographed tenderly by Durgacharan Ranbir. Pompi Pal (Jalpaiguri) could not rise above mediocrity in her Anandabhairabi Pallavi or the Ashtapadi “Srutakamala” in Kelubabu’s style. Durga Charan Ranbir’s disciple, Manoj Pradhan’s Kalavati Pallavi demonstrated his strong grip over rhythms and technique. He showed promise in his impassionate abhinaya “Sangini Re Chahan Benupaniki”.

Scintillating piece

One of the best pieces in the festival was Dwadhasha Jyotirlingam by Samikshya Pani. The long piece of all 12 lingams, set to music by Ramhari Das with Dhaneswar Swain’s rhythm composition, was executed with distinct character, exactitude of each form in the choreography with the melodious structure of the music. The rare item Shakti Rupa Yogini by Pratibha Jena, an outstanding dancer, based on the Surendranath Jena style displayed energetic hair-raising execution based on the Shakti-Rupa Yogini of Hirapur. This dance composition, inspired by the temple and the local devis of multiple villages in Odisha, recreates the primal power of these goddesses: energetic and ferocious. Jashaswini Swain’s dramatic thrust, competence and strength in “Charchika Ashtakam” set to raga Rageshsree, tala tripata offered interpretative excellence to the sahitya by Guru Gopikrushna.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:18:27 PM |

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