Sankalpa 2016 by Nrittyoday
- Nita Vidyarthi
Photos courtesy: Nrittyoday
August 10, 2016
The fourth edition of ‘Sankalpa’ by Nrittyoday at Gyan Manch, Kolkata was a celebration of dance in the style of the great Uday Shankar. Both seniors and juniors of Nrittyoday including the institution’s director, dancer Bidhan Roy Chowdhury with its coordinator Pradyumna Mukherjee delighted the audience with choreographic items guided by Bidhan and set to popular songs and music by well-known singers. In keeping with its tradition of composing dances set to popular Bangla adhunik (modern) songs, Bidhan has kept in mind the abilities of his students. Hence numbers for children have interesting, simple, easily negotiable steps illustrating the lyrics. Trained by Mamata Shankar in the Uday Shankar style and by Anita Mallick in Bharatanatyam, it is apparent that Bidhan’s choreography for most of the numbers had the physical vocabulary of both.
The grace of Shiva and his boundless power were effectively conveyed in the opening Shiva Panchakshara Stotram “Nagendraharaya” by Bidhan in an electrifying Bharatanatyam idiom. Bidhan exploited fully the grandeur of the slokas with confident ease, replete with the technical virtuosity and poise of a mature dancer. His height and taut body line was an advantage for this number. While giving importance to “parampara”, the next item was a well-rehearsed group Bharatanatyam nritta by juniors in raga-talamalika. That Bidhan has a way with children was evident in Bangla modern song numbers like “Ayere aye” sung by Mononmay Bhattacharya, “Pahar Mati Chup” sung by Rupankar and “Gaalphuluni khukumoni” (sulking girl) by Lopamudra Mitra. He even incorporated crawling and running steps blending them smoothly in the choreography which the little girls performed playfully with rhythm. What was striking in these presentations was the discipline and neatness displayed by the learners.
Nrittyoday must be lauded for stretching out to a social cause and accommodating the performances of Tagore’s Jonaki and the dance set to “Mamochitte” by the girls of the Hope Foundation in their annual Sankalpa.
Sankalpa always concludes on a spiritual, meaningful and philosophical vein and this time it was “Maha Mrityunjay Mantra” and “Asato ma sadgamaya.” All the dancers in dazzling white walked to the stage through the aisles with subtle graceful movements and gathered to a semicircular formation to conclude the presentation. The choreography, direction costumes and music editing was by Bidhan Roy Chowdhury and the lights were by Ashoke and Tapan Adhikary. Madhumita Basu conducted the programme ably.
Dr. Nita Vidyarthi is a veteran critic of performing arts and writes on dance, music and theatre in leading publications.