Dance

Dance like the men

Manipuri dancer Mousam Nandi. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Manipuri dancer Mousam Nandi. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam   | Photo Credit: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

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The festival of male dancers was held on an impressive note under the aegis of Nataraj Music and Dance Academy.

The two-day festival held at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam had a mélange of performances in different styles like Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, Perini and Andhranatyam, Nataraj Nrityotsav. Though it claimed to be an All India festival, eight out of twelve performances centred on three styles from Andhra Pradesh and the fete left much to be desired. However, it was not void of sparks of exceptional talent.

As the organisers hyped it as the first of its kind featuring Indian male dancersin the city, it led to high expectations that stood belied at the end of day. The fete opened with Brahmmanjali by a local team in Kuchpudi style. Kolkata-based Mousam Nandi presented Dasavatara in Manipuri style with verve on the first day.With a fair grasp of the composition being presented, he ably depicted the varied aspects of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu in the idiom of Manipuri. His ease in transforming from one mood to another as the lyric progressed, portraying the quintessential aspects of different avataras in quick succession evoked good response.

In what can be called a maestro’s flourish, at a young age, Bhubneswar-based Bikas Nayak’s presentation in Odissi under the watchful eyes of his Guru, Bichitranand Swain, mirrored exceptional artistic acumen. In a perfect coalescence of creative virtuosity and in-depth grasp of the kinetic intricacies of Odissi, his portrayal of Lord Krishna cajoling a sulking Radha on his coming late to Brindavan, held the viewers captive. With no slackening at any point, his performance remained energetic and electrifying all through. He superbly portrayed subtle and soft emotions of love and caring for the beloved in a wide range of sanchari bhavas. He spoke through the grace and camber of Odissi in presentation of Pallavi that fired the imagination of the viewers, capturing the quintessence of Pallavi both in form and spirit in his inimitable way.

Another performance that impressed dance buffs was the Bharatnatyam piece by Mumbai-based Pavitra Bhat. He presented ‘Sri Krishnanatha’, a varnam set to Adi taal in raga Reethigoula that dealt with the childhood pranks of Lord Krishna. Various episodes of Krishnaleela such as Putana Vadha, Kaliya Mardhanam, Raasaleela and Geethopodesam found appealing expression. Also, he danced to the number Maa Ramana, Uma Ramana that highlights the grandeur and grace of Lord Vishnu and Siva.

The other performances in the fete included Kuchipudi by VVS Jagannadha Rao, Gururaj, Lalith Kumar Gupta, PA Saikumar and Madan Mohan, Andhra Natyam by Sanjay Vadapalli, Perini by Pawan Kumar and Odissi by Rasmi Ranjan Barik. In the inaugural session renowned dance critic VAK Ranga Rao spoke on ‘Indian classical dances and importance of male dancers’.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:01:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/dance-like-the-men/article3657377.ece

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