Mood musicscape

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By RESHMI SENGUPTA
  • Published 15.09.04
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Debasree Roy rehearses with her troupe Nataraj at Rabindra Sadan on Tuesday. Picture by Aranya Sen

She draws inspiration from the rhythm of life, he seeks solace in the harmony of music. Together, they take the stage by storm, unleashing a wave of sound and fury.

As part of the 12th anniversary celebrations of Debasree Roy?s Nataraj Group, the actress-dancer shares the stage with percussionist Tanmoy Bose for a trek down Bharata?s Natyashastra. In the 50-minute production titled Navaras: Natyashastra Revisited, involving dance, music and visual projections, Debasree will breathe life into the nine moods encapsulated by Bharata as the framework of all emotions in his classical Sanskrit text on stagecraft.

?Navaras is manifest in our day-to-day life, in the small things we do. So, the nine rasas ? shringar (love), veera (heroism), vibhatsya (grotesque), rudra (anger), hasya (mirth), bhayankar (horrific), karuna (pity), adbhut (wonder), shanta (tranquility) and vatsalaya (parental affection) ? will be depicted through nine stories picked up from contemporary life,? explains Tanmoy who has conceived the show and scored the music after eight months of intense preparations.

So, if karuna explores the emotion evoked when a mother gives birth to a stillborn baby, the piece on hasya has the dancers depicting a chain of comic situations happening backstage. ?Here, we have woven in our personal experiences. For instance, the hilarious situation I found myself in when I forgot to bring my third costume at one show,? reveals Debasree. In between her dubbing and shoot schedules, the actress took out time to rehearse for at least a couple of hours every day for the past one month.

Canada-based choreographer Sukalyan Bhattacharya has blended classical and contemporary dance with a dash of the martial art forms, kalaripayattu and thang-ta, in the presentation. ?The choreography is different from what I normally do. Though I try to bring out the power inherent in dance through my compositions, here the scope to do this was even more,? adds Debasree, fine-tuning her martial moves along with nine male dancers from her troupe while rehearsing at Rabindra Sadan.

The music, composed by Tanmoy with some classical ragas and a medley of instruments, will portray the succession from one mood to another. ?For karuna, shringar and shanta, I have chosen ragas Shree, Khamaj and Bhatiyar, respectively. Hasya will come alive through the beats of moorsing, mridangam and ganjira. And psychedelic sounds have been used for vibhatsya, while kodo, taiko and big drums will create the effect of bhayankar,? adds Tanmoy. This apart, tabla, pakhawaj, violin, guitar, slit drum, darbooka, electric piano and vocals by Supratik Das have been used for all the segments in general.

The costumes, designed by Dibyakanti Sen, also portray the gamut of moods through dramatic colour co-ordination, as spelt out by Bharata in the Natyashastra.

On Wednesday evening, the show takes off after a felicitation of Rabindrasangeet exponent Suchitra Mitra and stagelight expert Tapas Sen at Rabindra Sadan.