Based on various classical dance styles, six choreographic presentations were put up at ICCR on February 19 and 20. Presented by Nrityalok, an institution spearheaded by Sutapa Awon Pradhan, a Bharatnatyam dancer, the two-day dance festival proved that there are still a few exponents who remain sincere about this art form.
After an inaugural group presentation in Bharatnatyam by Nrityalok, Srijan took the stage with a group Odissi presentation. Under the direction of Ratikant Mahapatra, they offered Yathagamanam, a bouquet of contemporary creations. It began with Bho Shambho, a Sanskrit prayer of devotion to Lord Shiva, composed by Dayanand Saraswati. This was followed by Bhagavati Stotram, originally composed by Kelucharan Mahapatra, which has been reworked by his son, Ratikant. The basic postures of the performers were correct and their movements elegant. However, the abhinaya could have been improved upon. The costumes, which were not pleasing, could have been selected judiciously. The presentation ended with Bishwas, a “neo-classical innovation”.
The second presentation of the evening was Rabindranath Tagore’s Kshudito Pashan by Padatik Dance Centre. Under the supervision of Chetna Jalan, Susmita Chatterjee choreographed the presentation in which the dancers proved their mettle. The set designed by Saumik-Piyali looked dramatic. The participants were Susmita Chatterjee, Souvik Chakraborty, Anirban Pramanik and others. The last presentation was Visarjan (Ato Rakto Keno) by Anveshana Dance Theatre that was directed by Sangeeta Sharma. The second day began with Natir Puja. Directed by Sutapa Awon Pradhan, the production lacked professional finesse and elegance. Dasavataram by Kalamandalam and Bhaktirasasudhasara by Sruti Bandyopadhyay and her troupe were the other two presentations of the festival.
Studio 21 presented an evening of Japanese dance by Bridget Scott, who was accompanied by Alexandre Jurain on the esraj, on February 16. This innovative but brief presentation by the artist was a testimony of not only her creative excellence but also her collaborative spirit.
The traditional Nihon Buyo and the improvised Butoh were efficiently blended to create a new direction, an effective language and an innovative presentation style.