The Sai Nrityotsav, celebrating its first year, commenced with an extravagant choreographic piece “Hari Hara” based on the Kathak repertoire. With the concept pivoting around the unification of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, and the shlokas along with verses penned by Shatavadhani R. Ganesh, Suparna and Nagraj commenced their production with “Shantakaram Bhujagashayanam” showcasing the magnificence of Lord Vishnu.
Prakash and Shankhya next revealed the radiance of Lord Shiva and Parvati through “Shantakaram Shikharashyanam Neelakantha Suresham”. The zest with which the whole production was choreographed and presented, showed it was well researched. Even the well recorded music with the vocalist's rendition deserved a standing applause. The well synchronised nritta and nritya movements of Nagraj and Suparna complemented each other especially in “Nachat Gopal” and “Radha Madhav Madhura Pritam”.Yamini Muthanna's “Manas”, based on Yoga and Bharatnatya, was both innovative and evocative, and was marked with brilliant artistry. The danseuse commenced her spiritual aspiration with Vedantic shlokas as a metaphorical representation to pay encomium to the Guru. The dancer's broader aspect of the imbibed knowledge and astuteness was visualised through the well knit plot of the play. Clear yogic postures, neat Bharatanatya technique, combined with narration in English gave shape to the overall thought process of the dancer. One must appreciate her perseverance in presenting an experimental production with an understanding of the broader classical aspect.
However, the best performance of the evening was Sharmila Mukherjee's exuberant Odissi. Entering the proscenium with a thunderous velocity, the dancer immediately rapped the audience attention. Commencing the recital with a fast paced “ taka jhenu ta jhom tari tari jhom” pallavi set to raag Hamsadhawni in Ek Taali choreographed by her Guru, the dancer proved her meticulousness through well drawn charis and neat chowks.
Sharmila's dance was extremely good; her body manifests a suppleness of energy which is always in a tenacious control projected through a deliberate practice. The gusto of her performance reverberated right from the beginning. The piece de resistance was the Oriya abhinaya “Pranosingini rae” with Krishna in the guise of a woman. The climax of the piece was dramatically underlined in the abhinaya.