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Feast of rasas and rhythm

The inaugural World Cup cricket match (India vs Bangladesh) and unexpected showers may have led to a thin turnout at the ICCR Satyajit Ray auditorium on February 19, but the enthusiastic few who did turn up were not disappointed. “Kabir Aloy Nabaras”, a dance performance, was staged by the children of NGO Prayas, as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary.

Avirup Sengupta, the founder of Prayas and the brain behind the choreography, based the theme on the nine rasas, or emotions, including Sringara, Veera, Raudra, Hasya, Karuna, Adbhuta, Bhayanak, Bibhatsa and Shanti.

He wove in a strong narrative, songs and recitation with the dances. The main dancers were the under-privileged children of Prayas and students from other institutes.

Before every dance, narrator Mohua Roy told the audience about the rasa it depicted and the emotion it evoked. References were cited from Tagore’s works as well.

Sengupta himself did a solo presentation of the bhayanak rasa to the recitation of Ore bihongo mor by Satyam Roy Choudhury, the director of the Techno India group.

Designer Agnimitra Paul also recited Nirjhorer Shopnobhongo, while danseuse Olivia Biswas performed with the children. Sharmila Basu and Subrata Sengupta were the chief singers.

The most striking depiction was that of the shanti rasa. Dressed in white, the children danced beautifully with unlit candles and paid homage to Lord Buddha.

Right after that the youngest group (between five and 12 years) took over the stage, dressed in bright spring hues, and danced to Phagoon legechey boney boney in well-coordinated movement.

But such coordination and poise did not come easily to them. For months the children had to put in hours of practice after school, and sometimes household chores, to perfect their movements.

“We worked very hard during our rehearsals. Sometimes ,it was difficult to balance studies and practice,” said Rupa Naskar, who performed seven dances in the show and will be appearing for her Class XII board examination.

Prayas has 25 economically challenged children under its wings and works for their emancipation through dance — specifically Odissi —as an alternative source of income.

The guests also included dancer Alakananda Roy and and Sanjay Budhia, the managing director of the Patton group.


chitchat

Tribute to the Bard

An inter-house dance competition was organised at Birla High School for Girls on February 21. Its theme was Rabindranath Tagore. The competition, however, started with a song by the students of the junior section. The participants of the main event performed to various Tagore songs. Every house tried to outdo the rest and in the end, staged a great show.

Nupur Patodia
Class V

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