Friday 28 December 2012

Dhauli - Kalinga Mahotsav 2012 - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Peace Pagoda at Dhauli, Bhubaneswar, was the venue of the festival under review. No sooner did the Konark Dance Festival conclude, in its wake came this unique five day Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav from 10th to 14th December. It had started in the year 2003 and has by now in its 9th edition, acquired such a reputation that all roads led to Dhauli peace pagoda every night. It was started by Italian dancer Ileana Citaristi under the very pagoda and was confined to martial arts. I had attended two festivals. Later on, late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan with his ‘unlimited dreams’ carried on the tradition. After his demise his disciple, renowned Odissi exponent, choreographer, guru, administrator, Aruna Mohanty and her Orissa Dance Academy have with the Dept of Tourism and Culture, Govt. of Odisha, taken over the organization, including Martial Arts Festival within the fold of Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav. The festival has now acquired a multi dimension format. 

 Read the review in the site

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Konark Dance Festival 2012 - Dr. Sunil Kothari

The festive mood
When we arrived at Konark from Bhubaneswar, what we saw was indeed a festive mood. Right from the various colourful  decorations on several trees leading to the venue and to the entrance of Yatri Niwas where an exhibition of paintings was mounted on the lawns, the huge posters announcing Konark Dance Festival 2012, the music played by the mahuri and nagada players to the presentation of folders about Konark Dance Festival and Tourism, we could see that the man behind the festival had taken pains giving attention to minutest details, leaving no stone unturned, to make the visitors feel that they had come ‘to the land of festivals.’ Under his passionate zeal and a commendable ability to get all involved in mounting the festival, the principal secretary, Dept of Culture and Tourism. Mr. A.K. Tripathy has left his signature on the festival.

The group of artistes including Aruna Mohanty (Odissi exponent and Vice President of Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi), Ratikant Mohapatra (guru, performer and son of legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra), his associate Deviprasad Mishra aka Tikki, Sangeeta Mahapatra (Reader in vocal music at the newly established Utkal University of Culture), Ram Hari Das (musician and Director of GKMORC, Professor in Music at Utkal University of Culture), were in charge of the smooth running of the festival. From exquisite lighting, seating arrangements, sound system, clean and artistic vast stage, with magnificent view of the tower of Konark temple, Dr. Mrityunjay Rath, the ace compere in Odiya language and celebrated compere Sadhna Shrivastav with her vast experience for nearly three decades, the highly professional approach no wonder places Konark Dance Festival in the international category! 

Read the review in the site

Sunday 9 December 2012

Article - Role and function of dance: Historical context (Part 2) - Dr. Anonna Guha

(Excerpt from the Phd thesis ‘Dance in the urban culture’ under the guidance of Dr. Sharit Bhowmik.)

Indian context

The historical background of dance in India has to be understood and comprehended in its particular context. Since this research studies Indian dance and dancers in the urban scenario, an in-depth knowledge about Indian dances with their historical setting will be important in dealing with its current picture.

For the sake of clarity, I will divide the analysis of Indian dances into two categories.

1) presentational

2) participational (IED Vol 3, 1998: 455)

The first category would include the classical dances – dance as an art form - while the second would cover folk, tribal / ritual / traditional dances. The historical context, function and role of both may have to be understood distinctly though there would be overlapping areas. (The English word ‘classical’ is used primarily as a translation of the Sanskrit ‘
sastriya’ (also called marga) and indicated that a dance tradition has a relatively highly developed technique and theory of movement that relate to theoretical texts of the earlier period known as sastras like the Natyashastra. The folk or rural category in Indian tradition is called desi, provincial or rural.

Read the article in the site

Saturday 8 December 2012

Profile - Parwati Dutta: Following the heart - Padma Jayaraj

I saw her amidst dance students assembled for a workshop on Kathak, sponsored by the Sangeet Nataka Akademi, Kerala, in Thrissur. She was distinguishing different dance forms by showing just the neck movements, in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odissi as a unit of gestural vocabulary.

“Dance is visual poetry,” she painted with her hands in the air, colored with the emotions on her face. Her knowledge of the aesthetics of the wide variety of dance forms found in India was impressive. Parwati Dutta introduced herself to the students as the daughter of a Punjabi mother and Bengali father, who was fortunate enough to spend her childhood in a neighborhood in Kolkata and then in Bhopal where many south Indians lived. Her exposure to a multicultural life, of colorful festivities in an impressionable period must have shaped her formative years.

Read the profile in the site

Thursday 6 December 2012

Sattriya Dances: 12th Nritya Parva Festival at Guwahati - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Established in 2008 as a Project under Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sattriya Kendra, Guwahati, has been carrying on the celebration of annual Nritya Parva since then. With Sattriya dance form of Assam getting recognition in 2000 as the 8th classical dance form on par with other classical dance forms, there has been a gradual stream of young boys and girls studying Sattriya and performing it regularly within Assam and also outside Assam in major metropolitan cities in India and some of them have also been performing abroad.

The 12th edition for four days from 15th till 18th November 2012 saw various dancers including group dances of Gayan Bayan from traditional Sattras (monasteries) from different parts of Assam performing at Rabindra Bhawan in the evening. Each participant is allotted 30 minutes and by 8pm the program is over. Raju Das, project secretary, with recommendations of the  committee members of Sattriya Kendra, makes selection of artistes representing solos, duets, trios and group performances, which cover the range of Sattriya dance corpus. The Nritya Parva has been instituted since 2000 to bring to Guwahati, artistes from other cities and monasteries. Now the festival has acquired a prestigious status and showcases established and also up and coming artistes. The festival under review was inaugurated by Lalit Chandra Ojha from Mangadoi, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee and Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Fellow senior guru for Ojapali dances. 

Read the review in the site

Wednesday 5 December 2012

A tribute to veteran mentor Acharya Parvati Kumar - Vijay Shanker

Veteran mentor Acharya Parvati Kumar left for his heavenly abode on 29th November 2012 at his residence in Grant Road in Mumbai. He was 94 and leaves behind his wife Sumatai. A prayer meet was organised at his residence on 2nd December.

Acharya Parvati Kumar trained in Kathak, Kathakali and Bharatanatyam under respected masters. An eminent Bharatanatyam exponent and teacher, he was instrumental in shaping the professional career of several exponents. A stickler for perfection and a great task master, it was not easy to learn the basic 'adavus' or movements as he was very meticulous in his teaching. If you made a mistake, you would be made to do the same movement repeatedly. Only after this was learnt properly would the next step be taught. Hence, to learn the complete Bharatanatyam margam from him was a herculean task but ultimately, one not only became a fine exponent but also acquired knowledge of the theoretical aspects and significance of Indian classical dance which is rare as there are dancers who hardly have any theoretical knowledge.  

Read the tribute in the site