The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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Dance/ Music

Rani Karna, a renowned exponent of Kathak, is also a brilliant guru. Samskriti Shreyaskar, her dance academy, put up various choreographic presentations which were performed by her dedicated, talented students. The programme, Radha Krishna Nirata Karata, at Gyan Manch maintained its high standard. Dedicated to the memory of the late S.K. Saxena, a well known aesthetician and an inspiration for Karna, the show commenced with a duet performed by Debashree Bhattacharya and Sohini Debnath (picture), two wonderful dancers who showed an authentic understanding of the art form under proper guidance. It was followed by “Rangmanch Pravesh”, a rhythmically enjoyable presentation, which depicted various calculations of 11 beats. Through paran, upaj, laykari, lari and parmelu, the brilliance of the Jaipur Gharana came forth. A jugalbandi between the sarod and dancing was mirrored through the imagery of flowers and bees, representing nature’s beauty. The baj ang of the string instruments, the gat and the jhala mingled nicely with pure Kathak to the 16 beats of teental.

Debashree proved her mettle through her clear footwork, chakkars and precise standing positions, while Siddhartha Bhattacharya ably supported her on the tabla. Sunando Mukherjee sensitively expressed the beauty of Raga Chandrakauns in this number. Sohini selected 13 beats to show the magic of counting through amad, paran, ginti, chakkar and other small segments of the Kathak repertoire. A composition by Sundarprasadji of the Jaipur Gharana was praiseworthy. With an elegant stage presence, Sohini was confident in her presentation. The dance to “Hori: Viyog-Sanyog Shringar”, a Meera bhajan, was presented by Debashree and Sohini. Based on the ragas Puriya and Hindol, it exquisitely expressed the grandeur of teental and dhamar. Other dancers were Rhea Das, Samila Bhattacharya and Surangama Majumder. The casual compering marred the mood of the entire programme.

Before planning a programme, organizers should understand that classical music is an elaborate affair which needs time and peace of mind. Raaga and Rhythm, presented at the G.D. Birla Sabhaghar by Arani — a cultural organization dedicated to the memory of the late Indranil Bhattacharya, a renowned sitar maestro of the Maihar Gharana and the son of the great composer, Timir Baran — was badly managed in terms of time. Divided into two parts, the evening was an amalgamation of Indian classical music and dance featuring Bikram Ghosh, Ronu Majumdar, Purbayan Chatterjee, Arun Kumar, Ronie Shambik Ghosh and Mitul Sengupta.

Ronu on the flute and Purbayan on the sitar played an alaap on Raga Bageshri, while Bikram joined them in the sawal jawab. This presentation was captivating. It was followed by a fusion segment where Arun Kumar from Bangalore played drums along with the artists. Because of the time constraint they had to finish hurriedly and the dancers did not get much time to do justice to their performances.