Margam crossing cultural borders
- Satish Suri
September 20, 2016
From the word go, the artists of the Kolpotoru Dance Academy from Dhaka, Bangladesh, entranced the audience with an exemplary display of technically perfect and aesthetic dancing on September 3, 2016 at Seva Sadan, Bangalore. Amit Chowdhury, an MA in Bharatanatyam from the Rabindra Bharati University and presently teaching in Dhaka, along with his two students Zuairiyah Mouli and Shammy Akter presented their credentials as part of Nrithya Vaibhava, the monthly program of Shantala Arts Trust managed by Pulikeshi Kasturi. The three artists are currently being mentored by Bharatanatyam exponent Kirti Ramgopal under whose guidance they participated in rendering a margam that crossed cultural borders.
The pushpanjali, a Rajkumar Bharathi composition performed by Zuairiyah Mouli and Shammy Akter set the mood and tenor with their crisp execution. The alarippu that followed in misra chapu tala provided a creative exploration of movement and spatial dimensions to Amit Chowdhury, Zuairiyah and Shammy with an ideal mix of footwork and technique that created refreshing formations.
The next offering was “Aadyaanjali” beseeching the grace of Amba who is known by several names as Kalyani, Bhavani, Mridupani and Katyayani. As Saraswati, you are the embodiment of knowledge; as Parvati, daughter of mount Himavath, you are glorified and venerated by the holy sages; as Lakshmi, you dwell in the milky ocean as Lord Vishnu’s queen. The composition of D.V. Prasanna Kumar in Ragamalika and Talamalika was embellished with well executed footwork and abhinaya by Zuairiyah and Shammy Akter. Amit Chowdhury defined the Natesha Kautvam in Nattai set to adi tala in praise of the cosmic dancer Lord Nataraja from whom all dance forms are believed to have originated. The kauthuvam was performed with neat lines and befitting expressions.
The varnam “Devar munivar thozhum paadam Jagannathan,” a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman in Shanmukhapriya was a solo rendition by Amit Chowdhury describing the supreme lord of the Universe – Lord Vishnu; the compassionate one whose consort Lakshmi resides in his chest. The episode where Bhrigu Maharshi confronts lord Vishnu and stamps his chest while Vishnu pulls out an eye from his foot without his knowledge to pacify him was delectable. Interspersing the narrative were jathis and swara passages that were intricate and beautiful. Depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu in a kaleidoscopic representation of emotion and events, Amit Chowdhury displayed effortless artistry, stamina, clean lines and expressions.The sancharis of Gajendra Moksha and Vamana were dealt with subtlety and grace. If his emotive skills could be developed to incorporate more intensity and depth, he will be able to raise the bar of his calibre to greater perfection and maturity.
The Shiva Padam performed by Zuairiyah and Shammy describing the eternal Shiva was portrayed admirably characterised by nimble footwork and sculptural momentary friezes creating a lasting impression. The artists concluded with a thillana, a composition of Ganga Thampi in raga Purvi and roopaka tala studded with beautiful choreography, complex rhythmic patterns that were executed with great felicity.
Bhakti was the keynote of their presentation which was translated on stage by their devotion and commitment to the art form seeking the perfection of the imprint and vision of their guru and mentor, Kirti Ramgopal who moulded the artists to this level of perfection and maturity with her choreography and assiduous training.
Bangalore based Satish Suri is an avid dance rasika besides being a life member of the Music and Arts Society.