It was very refreshing to find half a dozen reputed and well-respected gurus of classical dance in the Eastern metropolis join hands and produce a well conceived item each, with well trained disciples, many of whom were recipients of national scholarship or junior fellowship awards from Ministry of Culture. Indeed, it was quite thoughtful of Pushpak and their director Alokparna Guha to organize their annual dance festival on July 31 in a properly thought out format, reducing traditional mythology for Sahitya to a large extent.
The evening began with Shibpur Omkar under Dr. Malabika Mitra presenting Chhanda Parikrama. Malabika is a veteran Kathak dancer, whom this critic had seen performing in Delhi as early as 1984 and who has not looked back since. According to an ancient Indian concept, dance is the source of creation and everything owes its origin to the rhythmic movement of dance of Mahashakti (Supreme Energy). We find different rhythmic patterns in every movement around us. There are also different rhythmic patterns in north Indian music: Aarh, Kuaarh, Biaarh and Barabar. The four dancers on stage played with pure dance patterns through footwork and traditional mnemonics like toda, parimelu and padhants set to different chhanda (rhythmic patterns). What emerged was quite an invigorating nritta that delights the heart.
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