Bhubaneswar, Jan. 6: Veteran Kathak dancer Moumala Nayak and her troupe from New Delhi performed on Friday evening at Rabindra Mandap here. The performance was organised by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), Cuttack, as part of its horizon series.
The first act of the repertoire was Darbari Tarannum. The musical composition that was set in raga Kalawati and Drut Ektaal was complimented with figurative body movements.
The Mughal Tarana sung by Pandit Birju Maharaj brought alive the images of assemblies and celebrations where rulers would enjoy such dance recitals. The next piece, Shuddh Nritta (pure dance) was presented in taal Rupak of seven beats. Both were group sequences. The following act was a solo by Moumala who performed Ardhanarishwar stuti that portrayed the feminine grace of Goddess Parvati and masculine vigour of Lord Shiv.
The fast and slow movements juxtaposed with sudden pauses were a visual treat. Her next performance was Dhamaar of 14 beats. The artiste showcased refined foot works with rhythmic balance.
The happiness of women, who just learnt that their husbands are returning home soon, was well essayed in Agatpatika Nayika, a duet act.
The highlight of the evening was Moumala’s Thumri act. Written by Lalan Sharma of Farrukhabad, the presentation displayed the stories of Krishna’s mischief making.
The artiste’s stylish presentation of Krishna’s playful nature coupled with her graceful eye movements was captive. She took a whole round of the stage by spinning at a brisk pace leaving the audience spellbound.
The last act of the evening was Tarana set in raga Maalkauns and Teen taal was well appreciated.
Though Moumala, a disciple of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and a now a Guru herself, exuded her brilliant command of the classical art forms, her troupe members appeared novices lacking co-ordination. Another let down was the duration of the acts.
“I have seen several classical dance recitals. I am amazed by their stamina to continue for several minutes. Though the Kathak recital by Moumala Nayak was charismatic, I would have loved to see extended acts instead of ones that longed only for 10 minutes each,” said Aarti Samataray, a member among the audience.