In a dazzling piece of work, One More Time, a recent choreographic endeavour full of shifting moods and tones, Sharmila Biswas gloriously caught the mercurial spirit of spring. The undulating, layered and eminently picturesque gardens of a private property provided an idyllic setting for a piece that shifted from the joyous to the melancholy as it followed the celebration of spring in a vocabulary of pure energy, abandon and openness even as it inevitably touched upon the pangs of separation and loss. Such was the magic of the ambience that there were moments when one lost the perspective of a performance and the scenes came alive with humans inhabiting landscapes.
Spectacular, unexpected appearances of groups of dancers from behind thick-trunked trees and bushes, their ephemeral disappearances into leafy corners of the grounds, their spirited and energetic dancing that painted pictures of glorious spring days with ecstatic colours and liveliness. All of this made it a visceral experience, of which you imagined yourself to be a part by virtue of occupying the same space in the precincts. Intricate, pulsing patterns, expansive jumps and sharp beats characterized the exhilarating dance to the accompaniment of rich vocals, sitar, flute, tabla and srikhol.
At the centre of One More Time was Biswas’s own ephemeral solo that delved into the mind of Radha, forever in quest of Krishna. A lucid piece with exquisitely restrained emotions, it conjured up images of the lovelorn Radha, insane with the desire to meet her beloved. Elements of academic abhinaya were dismantled into a language of simple relatable gestures and an astonishing range of emotions spoke deeply to the spirit. In the failing light of a March evening, framed by enormous trees and a sky slowly turning purple, one met Radha, helplessly vulnerable in her love for Krishna.
In Srijan Chatterjee’s rendition of mnemonic syllables or his impassioned performance of keertan, Tuhin Sengupta’s tabla and srikhol, Ayan Sengupta’s sitar and Paramananda Roy’s flute, the dancers of Odissi Vision and Movement Centre found excellent support.