Rhythmosaic-Sengupta Dance Company, India, and Offjazz Dance Company, France, presented Buddha: the ‘why’ within at the G.D. Birla Sabhagar on March 2. No, this wasn’t a story about the Buddha or his eight-fold path. It was an exploration of the essence of the Buddha’s guideline towards sublimation. It was a transcendental journey of love, hate, deception, aspiration and desolation. The presentation was an enquiry into one’s search for liberation.
However, the soul’s liberation is the aim of most Indian philosophical traditions, not just the Buddhist school of thought. To depict this form of abstract realization, the narrative dealt with Arjuna and three other characters from the Mahabharat — Ulupi, Aravan, Arjuna’s illegitimate son with Ulupi, and Barbareek, son of Ghatotkacha, whose karma is echoed through time. The production was a cross-over embrace of Indian and European Movement Art. The entire presentation was crisp and the music added to the allure of the performance.
Ronnie Shambik Ghose as Barbareek, who notes everything as part of the collective human consciousness sans comment or judgement, was convincing, His movements were agile but his costume tacky. Mitul Sengupta, as Ulupi and Aravan, captivated the audience with her energetic performance. She looked attractive in a bright orange costume. The hairstyle and make-up were befitting of the roles. Prasanna Saikia (Aravan the metaphor) proved to be an asset for the troupe. The props, such as the white tree, were interesting. Oindrilla Dutt’s dramatic style of narration was praiseworthy. Yorma Loringett played the role of Arjuna. The costume was done by Swarup Dutta and Debbiee Nath Germanotta. The impressive dance, music and narration notwithstanding, the production failed to communicate its message effectively.
Sutra Textile Studies presented Phisarol, a Suman Saraogi presentation, at the Rooftop, Azimganj House, recently. The word, phisarol, means the weaving of cloth. To mark the inauguration of a textile exhibition, the choreographer tried to weave in the beliefs of the people of Manipur. The presentation represented and celebrated nearly every facet of the lives of the people through dance and music.
The presentation began with the chanting of a mantra. Saraogi, with her pleasing stage presence, came forward and presented the thang ta, pung cholom and lai haraoba. Her seven-member troupe tried to do justice to the dance form in the small space.