Sapphire’s Analogues
- Sulagna Mukhopadhyay

Sudarshan Chakravorty
Pics courtesy: Sapphire

December 24, 2013

Sapphire's Quarterly Art Series always introduces new faces to the connoisseurs of contemporary dance in Kolkata.  The venues for this initiative are also meant to open up new non-proscenium art spaces and encourage more and more audiences to come and indulge in art. Sudarshan Chakravorty, who heads this dance institute, believes that Sapphire has a responsibility towards fostering contemporary arts of the East and the country as a whole and also understands that unless artistes support artistes there can be no awakening in our social and political systems to support and encourage art.  Young students of this dance organization showcased their works on 20th December 2013 at The Palladian Lounge.   

The first piece was named Between. Each and every artiste passes through dilemmas, success and failures in his life to reach his goal. This personal journey of a young artiste, beginning in his own land, traversing the foreign shores and finally returning to his own culture, his dilemmas, experiences and experiments are vividly portrayed in this piece. Anubhav Gupta choreographed this piece with suggestions from Paramita Saha, a veteran dancer of Sapphire. It was a mix of both solo and group dances. Anubhav played the role of the artiste. His physical theatre perfectly blended with the theme of Between. However, Anubhav still needs to clarify both his agony and jubilation through more subtle facial expressions. His symbolic use of a stroller and the frame of a mirror to interpret his ideas in the choreography need mention.  The group in this piece included Rima Haldar, Debtanu Das, Pintu Das and Abrar Saqib. Music included original scores by Neel Adhikari besides various other instrumental pieces.



The concluding piece of the evening was Holi. It is an experimental piece conceived by Idan Cohen from Israel. It questions human relationships across the world, the border issues and cultural differences. Cohen looks at different rituals and cultural acts of both India and Israel and tries to bridge the gap between the two cultures. This piece has been staged both in India and Israel. Using the dance-theatre genre, the choreographer portrayed the different pop culture "gods" of Hollywood, Bollywood, divine images of feminine beauty, stories of personal and political territories, boundaries and landscapes. The name Holi is quite suggestive as it helped two people to unite despite their differences in opinions and aims in life and rejoice the festive mood with colours. The dancers were Ankita Dattagupta and Kaushik Das. Sudarshan was the mentor in the piece. There was clarity of feeling and image, variegated sequences and the steps were articulated. The costumes were elegantly designed. Both the dancers were mesmerizing.

Sulagna Mukhopadhyay was trained in Bharatanatyam by Guru Thankamani Kutty and Indian folk by Late Botu Pal. She has an M.A. in Comparative Literature and has freelanced for various leading newspapers of Kolkata like The Telegraph, The Statesman and Ananda Bazar Patrika. She has written articles on dance and gender issues. She is a teacher of South Point School since 1996.