Dance

Carrying it solo

Kakali Paramguru.  

As part of its monthly concert series, the Odisha Chapter of Indian Council for Cultural Relations in association with the Department of Culture of Government of Odisha presented Bhubaneswar-based Odissi dancer Kakali Paramguru at Rabindra Mandap recently. The hour-long recital showcasing the complete repertoire of Odissi – from mangalacharan to mokshya – was a treat for the connoisseurs by this mature and meditative dancer in the distinct Debaprasad Das style of Odissi. Though lesser seen on stage in her home city due to her stint abroad for many years, her recital convinced us that she has been a potential soloist.

Clad in an aesthetically crafted and clad costume, Kakali entered the stage as a sculpture in motion and her meditative face was made for the invocatory presentation of mangalacharan for the Mother Goddesses of Kali and Durga. After setting the mood of the evening, she preferred to enact abinaya – her forte – with an astapadi of poet Jayadev Rase Harimiha Bihita Bilapam in which nostalgic Radha travels back in time and fondly remembers the joyous moments that she had spent with her beloved Krishna in the gardens. The dancer’s depiction of the creepers and the bees humming around while Krishna’s enchanting flute makes her feel crazy were articulate and restrained.

Moving on, Kakali performed pallabi, the pure dance number, set to the captivating raag Kalavati. While her movements and footwork perfectly matched the moods of the melody and rhythm, the seriousness in her face, apparently carried over from her earlier expressional number, hampered the expression of the joy of dancing from her face.

However, in her following abinaya number – Arebabu Shyamghana, Tugala Madhubhubana – that depicted the state of intense agony in mother Yasoda who wonders how she would survive without her kid who is set to set out for King Kansa’s Mathura, the dancer had clear departure from one sentiment to another with ease.

The dancer concluded her concert with Mokshya – the dance of ecstasy. As she had commenced with the prayer to the Mother Goddess in the invocatory mangalacharan, she also concluded with a prayer to Goddess Parvati.

Though Kakali performed to recorded music, the high quality of music did not make one feel of the absence of live orchestra. The soul-stirring vocal rendition by Sukanta Kumar Kundu that elevated the appeal of the concert to newer heights was, literally, the soul of the concert. Similarly, mardal exponent Dhaneswar Swain’s magical playing of the percussion was captivating. While Kakali’s Guru Durga Charan Ranbir choreographed all the numbers she danced, Guru Ramahari Das composed the music.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 8:17:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/carrying-it-solo/article6505611.ece

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