Sattriya and Khol playing workshop at Tezpur
- Jintu Sarma

August 6, 2015

Saptaswa…the rays of performing art is a socio-cultural organization of Tezpur, Assam, a city of cultural repute, the land of Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Bishnu Prashad Rabha and Phani Sarma. The founder of the organization is Dr. Pratibha Sharma, a Sattriya artiste trained under eminent dancing genius Guru Jatin Goswami.  For the better growth and expansion of Sattriya and other Indian classical dances, Saptaswa is playing a key role in Assam. Every year, Saptaswa celebrates World Dance Day with its national level program called Nrityakalpa.
Though Indian classical dance is famous globally, many children are deprived of the facility to learn the classical dances despite their immense talent and interest. Keeping this in mind, Saptaswa planned to organize a dance workshop in the rural areas of Tezpur. In collaboration with Tezpur Anchalik Sanaskritik Samaj and the direction of local MLA Rajen Borthakur, Saptaswa hosted a ten days Sattriya workshop along with a Khol playing workshop in Sonitpur district. This is the first time a classical dance workshop of this kind was held in Tezpur. Due to the number of participants the workshop was held in five different places of Sonitpur district - Ketekibari, Dekargaon, Milanpur Saikia Suburi and Beseria.  The Khol playing workshop was placed in Komarchuburi Namghar premises. The main objective of the workshop was to provide a platform for budding talent from rural areas. The total number of participants was 230, which was beyond expectations.

The workshop was held from 11th July to 21st July. The inaugural program was held at Sri Sri Sankar Mandir of Majgaon of Tezpur. The meeting was presided by most respected satradhikar of Sri Sri Nikamul Satra, Sri Punyabrat Goswami and the chief guest was Narayan Mahanta, DCF, Sonitpur. A special act of Mati Akhora was presented by Dibyajyoti Deka, a student of Rupkonwar Sangeet Mahavidyalaya and eye catching Sattriya was presented by Meghmallika Borah and Swati Bayan, students of Saptaswa. Also, the group of Pinkumoni presented an interesting item called Dihanaam, a special folk song of Assam.

To conduct the workshop, special resource persons were invited - Sailen Saikia, retired teacher of Luit Konwar Rudra Barua State College of Music, who is trying to establish Sattriya on an international level along with his better half Sabita Saikia and their organisation Jugalbandi; Prabhakar Goswami, reputed Sattriya exponent of Assam; Nilamani Bora from Jorhat; Atul Bhuyan of Aauniati Satra; Krishna Jadumano Saikia from North Kamalabari Satra. Every day, the morning session took place from 9am to 2pm and from 5.30pm the Khol playing training was conducted. Girls also participated in the Khol playing training which is a positive sign for the growth of the art.

The closing ceremony was held on 21st July in the premises of Komarchuburi Namghar of Tezpur where the resources persons were also felicitated. The program started with a Borgeet sung by Ankurmoni Sarma. After 10 days of workshop training, the participants presented an enthusiastic and impressive one act of Gayan-Bayan. At the same time, eminent Guru Sailen Saikia regrets that “in the present days there are some teachers who are misguiding our growing generation.”  MLA Rajen Borthekur added that, “Nowadays our children are more interested in modern songs and dances but only our own culture and ethnicity will live on and will strengthen our society.”


From this workshop, out of 230 trainees, 16 candidates will be selected for special training under Guru Jatin Goswami. After that, they will be further trained in Sattriya dance at Majuli.