The Telegraph
Friday , November 30 , 2012
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Steps of Shibani enthral hometown

Odissi dancer Shibani Patnaik during her solo recital at Idcol auditorium in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 29: US-based Odissi dancer Shibani Patnaik performed in the city recently after almost a year and regaled her audience at Idcol auditorium.

Patnaik began with a item called Pancha Bhuta, choreographed by her guru and renowned Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty, which depicted five aspects of life. She also performed another of Mohanty’s compositions called Khamaj Pallavi.

The most striking item of the repertoire was Samsara, a piece of abhinaya that had traditional choreography blended with contemporary elements. The composition demonstrated how the soul was chained to worldly matters while renunciation makes liberation simple. The dancer’s intense performance showed the different stages of life from birth to death. Her speech interludes were expressive and artistic. Samsara was conceptualised by writer Kedar Mishra and Mohanty.

Bijay Kumar Barik accompanied Patnaik on mardala while Yudhistir Nayak was on the manjeera. Satya was on vocals, Nirmala on violin and Jawahar Mishra on flute. They were all impressive.

Vice-president of an international company that has a branch in Chennai, Patnaik is currently in India on official work. Yet, she could not resist performing in her hometown.

“Odissi is my first love and dancing here where the audience is well-versed in the dance is important to me. In fact, it makes me nervous,” she said.

Patnaik, who lives in San Diego, visits Odisha four times a year.

“The educational process of dance is never-ending and there is always scope for improvisation. So, I make sure I practise here under my guru Aruna Mohanty whenever I am in the city. I also take lessons from her whenever she visits the US,” she said, adding that dance had also taught her time management skills, which she implements in practical life.