Dance

Creative Kathak

Befitting the theme of Colours for the festival, presented by Dipasikha Dance Foundation, Alarmel Valli and Aalaap, Kathak veteran Kumudini Lakhia’s Kadamb put up a stunning performance for the finale. The ensemble performance had international production values of excellent coordination, dramatic yet subtle choreography, perfect finishes, high quality sound recording and imaginative light design, among others.

Kadamb’s opening ‘Rang Hori’ (Maajh Khamaj raag) was a soft, low-key celebration of Holi, the festival of colours. The dancers in shades of mellow pastel georgette anarkalis and minimal accessories, warmed up with short sequences and pirouettes, while they enjoyed the colours and the promise of romance in the air. ‘Gati’ followed with more rhythmically demanding sequences in teen taal, as the dancers navigated through beats of 3s, 5s and 4s in perfect synchrony.

Rhythm in Kathak is essentially flat-footed stamping with a stiff upper body and the test is to see how much control the dancers have over the bells in terms of rhythmic variations, speed and cadence, the last implying the softer sound of a few bells or the louder sounds of the hundred bells to suit the intonation of bols. In addition to faultless technique, the Kadamb dancers had some stylistic moves such as the pointed toe stance and the glides that peppered the nritta.

The best of the evening was ‘Samanvay’ in teen taal, a scintillating nritta piece with high speed and demanding rhythm. Dressed in bright yellow and gold, the dancers clapped, executed chakkars and alternated rhythm, as they wove themselves into varying formations. It was an electrifying performance, drawing applause after every passage of nritta. The scene was set with sumptuous yellow, green and red LED lights, accentuated by gobos and smoke screens and a soulful sitar playing in the background. The finale of ‘Samanvay’ was nothing short of poetic. The dancers had by then moved up to the front of the stage, and stood in a horizontal line; the lighting did not follow the dancers upfront, so the dancers were in shadow. Then began a long, high-voltage lari, with only footwork. The experience moved from visual to aural through the lari when every beat and bell could be experienced. The beats got faster and faster and when the dancers finished together with a flourish, the effect was astounding.

Guru Kumudini’s senior student, Sanjukta Sinha presented a dadra, ‘Jiya mein laagi aan baan..’ in raag Pilu, full of love and longing.

The group ended with a Tarana in Darbar, teen taal. Guru Kumudini had created poetry through the talented dancers — Sanjukta, Rupanshi Kashyap, Bhakti Dani, Mitali Dhruv, Salomi Shah and Nikita Banawalikar.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 3:12:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Creative-Kathak/article16083281.ece

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