Saturday, 18 June 2022

Slick Kathak expression of an Unprecedented Awakening - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

 Watching on video the latest solo presentation of Kathak dancer Sudip Chakraborty, one is made aware of the fact that the blanket fog over dance performances during the pandemic, resulting in a feel of total hopelessness, had its redeeming side too. The forced quietude with the absence of showmanship and performance glamour, made many dancers delve inwards to ponder and meditate on their inner self, always elusive in tactility - questioning one's relationship with the universe and with the art form one represented. Can dance give that sense of wholeness, regenerating the human spirit?

Trained under Gurus Pranab Sanyal and Sandip Mallick based in Kolkata, dancer Sudip Chakraborty, given his arresting stage presence and well held erect body, dances with faultless ang, revealing an involvement in every moment - rhythmic or interpretative. In Unprecedented, leaving aside the degree of conviction in the dance statement, one is struck by the fact that a youngster is not afraid to experiment with themes which do not have, in the classical repertoire, readymade prescriptions for presentation. One is also struck by the painstaking attention paid to creating the libretto with musical foundation–not least of it being a team of competent musicians, Jaydeep Sinha (vocal), Aman Ali Khan (tabla), Salman Warsi (pakhawaj), Azeem Ali (sarangi), Salim Viswamitra (sitar), and Seedartha Awakunj Bhattacharjee (bol padhant).

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