Thursday 27 July 2017

Varsha Ritu draws showers of appreciation - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Varsha Ritu, the annual Monsoon festival mounted by the IIC (July 19 & 20), designed by late cultural activist Manna Srinivasan in 2010, has over the years, judging by the handsome audience response,  evolved into an event on the cultural calendar of the International Centre, that members look forward to. Mainly built round budding young dancers of different dance forms, the one hour performance slots incorporating at least one specially composed thematic item woven round the Monsoon season, have exuded freshness, creating a growing sense of expectancy in the viewers – often captivated while watching less publicised talents.

Providing the curtain raiser, Kathak dancers Leena Malakar Vij and Purnima Roy Chaudhury, disciples of Jaipur gharana specialist Nandini Singh, performed with an infectious sense of joy. The recital held together by the finely controlled mellifluous vocal support of Shoab Hassan with Babar Lateef on the tabla, in the opening invocation Pratham sumeer Sri Ganesh in Desh set to Chautal, (bearing the still un-erased signature of late Pandit Durga Lal)  brought back stirring nostalgic memories for those in the audience who had seen the Kathak master in action. Also from Durga’s repertoire was the finale of Tarana in Bageshwari set to jhaptal. While the two dancers combined well, the more contained dancer was Poornima Roy with a sedately still torso. Leena Malakar, given her involvement and swaying grace of movement, could perhaps control her exaggerated torso genuflexions – to preserve the Kathak angik profile. 

Read the review in the site

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