- Jintu Sarma
Photos: S. Kar & M. Das
October 22, 2017
Saptaswa-the rays of performing art, is a socio cultural organisation of Tezpur, the culture capital of Assam. They initiated a national classical dancing festival titled ‘Nrityakalpa’ in 2011 to promote the classical dance forms of India. Saptaswa organized the 7th edition of Nrityakalpa on 7th and 8th October in heritage Baan theatre, Tezpur.
The inauguration was followed by the release of the 3rd issue of Nrityakalpa souvenir. In the inauguration speech, maestro Jatin Goswami recalled how he learned dance from eminent Guru Bishnu Prashad Rabha in his early career. As per the convention, the opening dance was a Gayan Bayan. Students of Saptaswa - Meghmallika Bora, Shrutashini Das, Sampriti Bora, Namrata Gogoi, Arihana Pathak, Alphul Sharma, Sneha Sharma, Mayurakshi Das, Tanzim Sultana and Hongshoja Sarma - presented the attractive dance. Next was a Kathak recital by Ruparani Das Bora featuring a dhrupad, Jagiye Gopal lal in raga Deshkar and taal chautaal. After that she presented her own choreography ‘Devdashi’ based on a famous poem of Assam written by Atul Chandra Hazarika, with music by Dipak Sarma and Raju Das, and recitation by Bornali Borpujari and Debojit Sarma.
Koushik Das, a B.com graduate from Calcutta University, presented an Odissi recital of Ahe nila saila written by a Muslim poet Salabeg. He describes Lord Jagannath as a vast blue mountain, a stimulant elephant. The item includes depiction of Gajendra moksha, Draupadi vastraharan and slaying of Prahlada’s father Hiranyakashipu. The last performance of the first day was by Dr. Pratibha Sharma, the General Secretary of Saptaswa and the main figure behind the whole program. She presented a new choreographic work of her Guru Jatin Goswami, starting with a traditional Sattriya Sutradhari Nach, an abhinaya on Panchkanya - Ahalya, Tara, Mandodari, Kunti and Draupadi. All five characters were presented in five different taals like sarubikham, sutkala, jati, rupak and ektaal. Music is composed by Dhrubajyoti Baruah who also accompanied as vocalist with Rajashree Baruah, Kusha Mahanta on khol, Dwipen Sarma on violin and Pradip Deka on flute. In the 40 minute composition, the expressions of the different characters were flawlessly depicted by Dr. Pratibha in the neat performance.
The second day started with Kathak. Students of Saptaswa - Prerona Baishya, Bidisha Saha and Gayatri Biswakarma - presented a Shiv Vandana followed by pure dance like amad and tukra and concluded with a Sargam choreographed by Pratibha Sharma. Next was a Sattriya dance by Dr. Mallika Kandali, one of the leading exponents of the Sattriya dance tradition, who holds Ph.D.in this dance form. At very first she presented a slokar nach based on various slokas of Sattriya tradition. It’s a combination of pure dance and abhinaya with concept and choreography by herself to music of Late Murari Sarma. The second item of her presentation was Mandodari puche Ravanaka, an enactment based on the conversation between Ravana, the king of Lanka, and his wife Mandodari. She questions why it is always the women who have to pay the price of all injustices and bear the brunt of all violence and violations on earth. Dr. Kandali’s performance was moving, reflected by the applause of the houseful audience.
Pompi Paul, a senior disciple of Guru Paushali Mukherjee from Jalpaiguri, presented an excellent performance of Odissi. She started with a Sringar Pallabi, describing the preparation of a dancer before she appears on stage in front of the audience. It was choreographed by Paushali Mukherjee. Next was an Oriya abhinaya on a champu style of poetry written by Kavi Baladeva Rath, choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. In champu, every stanza of a song starts with same letter. Anjana Ramesh Sarma, a bright Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore, started with Sringara Lahiri in praise of the divine goddess, an embodiment of love and beauty. Sringara Lahiri is usually done as an invocatory piece that begins with two slokas, first one in Karaharapriya and the second one in Vachaspati. It was choreographed by Guru Rama Vaidyanathan. After that she presented an abhinaya based on a bhajan, Thumak chalat Ramachandra, in praise of Lord Rama, set to tisra nadai in raga Misra Kamas, a composition of Saint Tulasidas.
The last program was a Sattriya dance recital by the students of Saptaswa. They started on a concept of Guru Jatin Goswami with ramdani part of three male dances of Sattriya like Nadubhangi, Jhumura and Bhojan Bahar, to music by Dhrubajyoti Baruah. The abhinaya for Krishna Katha was based on a bhatima of Ankia Naat of Srimanta Sankaradeva, ‘Rukmini Haran.’ In this item, dancers showcased Aghasura badh, Bakasura badh, Kubalaya badh, Kangsha Badh and Kalia Daman. Music is by Bhaskar Jyoti Oja and choreography by Pratibha Sharma. The dancers were Meghmallika Bora, Shrutashini Das, Sampriti Bora, Namrata Gogoi, Arihana Pathak, Alphul Sharma, Mayarani Bora and Prerona Baishya. This year, the festival was mainly sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, and NRL, Numaligarh.