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Parampara Festival 2018
- Nita Vidyarthi
Photos courtesy: Tarun Bose

March 21, 2018

Ten young Odissi dancers trained by their respective gurus in Kolkata showcased their skills at the annual Parampara Festival at the Satyajit Ray Auditorium, ICCR, Kolkata. Presented by Odissi Dancers' Forum of the city, the one day event was graced by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra and Dr. Mohua Mukherjee as chief guests. Captivating and exhaustively trained Preetisha Mohapatra, granddaughter of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and daughter-disciple of Guru Ratikant, gave a special performance on this occasion.

Each dancer was allotted two items, mostly a pure dance number and an abhinaya piece which could display their overall training. The programme was so arranged that only one item was performed by each dancer in the first round and the other in the second turn. A good idea, as this cuts monotony, at the same time the young performers get some relief.

Kaji Anushka Rahaman

Moumita Dutta

Kamalika Bose

Rupsha Bhattacharya

Dona Ganguly's disciple Kaji Anushka Rahaman opened the evening with Matangi Dhyanam in ragamalika, tala jyoti and adi composed by Ratikant Mohapatra. She is a good dancer and knows her grammar well as was evident in the second half, in the Bhairavi based "Navadurga" in jyoti tala composed by Ratikant. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's Vasant Pallavi, ektali was presented by Rajib Bhattacharya's disciple Kamalika Bose. Even with her frail frame she showed a good grip over rhythm. She came back later to close the festival with the ritualistic Moksha (composed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra) in Bhairavi, ektali.

Moumita Dutta, disciple of Nandini Ghoshal, presented the Shivastuti "Nagendraharaya" composed by Sanjukta Panigrahi set to Puriyadhanasree and jyoti tala with grandeur. She proved her training in the pure dance number Kirwani Pallavi, negotiating the rhythms and beats of tala khemta with energy. Poushali Mukherjee's well trained disciple Rupsha Bhattacharya has a good stage presence as was evident in Mohana Pallavi in taal triputa composed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. However, her abhinaya in the song "Lilanidhi hey" (raga Arvi, taal khemta) could have been better.

That Subikash Mukherjee is not only a good dancer, but an efficient teacher was proved by the rendition of Kelubabu's composition of the ashtapadi "Haririha mugdha" by his student Nisha Saha. Nisha has style and her elegant lasya movements and facial expressions in "Chandana charchita" were pleasing to the eye. She displayed her technical skills in the Patdeep Pallavi in jyoti tala, composed by Ratikant Mohapatra. Moumita Pal, a student of Nandini Ghoshal, projected a good understanding of rhythms in the Sanjukta Panigrahi composition Yugmadwanda Pallavi in raga Bageshri, chaturashra ektali. The dancer has clarity of movement but could not impress in the Kelubabu composed Durga Stuti "Jata Juta Samayukta."

Nisha Saha

Moumita Pal

Asheemita Bagchi

Prashnika Dutta

Preetisha Mohapatra

Asheemita Bagchi displayed good footwork with a fine command of laya and tala in the ektali, Desh Pallavi composed by her guru Kakoli Bose. Asheemita showed grace and maturity in abhinaya in the raga Kalavati based ashtapadi "Rase harimeha" composed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Prashnika Dutta, trained under Shibnarayan Banerjee, could not rise above mediocrity either in her rendition of the tala ardha jhampa, Megh Pallavi or the abhinaya of the lovely Shankarabaranam based song "Tolagi Gopodando" in tala rupak. Of the two male dancers, Rahul Roy's Shankarabaranam Pallavi composed by Kelubabu was energetic showing good command over the intricacies of the rhythm. A student of Pompi Pal, he gave a relaxed rendition in "Jatatabi" in raga Bhatiar and tala khemta. Rajib Bhattacharya's student Avirup Sengupta lost his grip initially on the prelude of the ashtapadi "Sritakamala" (Misra Khamaj) but made it up later.

Preetisha Mohapatra, as expected, displayed a very high standard of technique creating intricate patterns of the melodious structure in the Mangaldhwani Pallavi set to the royal raga Mangaldhwani in adi tala, composed by Srinibas Satpathy. Watching her negotiating the complexities of the nritta composition, it became imperative that tala and laya were her intrinsic attributes. She impressed with her style - needless to say with mannerisms similar to her celebrated mother Sujata Mohapatra - with perfection, marked by the sensitive portrayal of poet Benudhara's "Se Shyam chhabi chhataka" set to raga Madhuri Gurjari and adi tala by Guru Gopal Chandra Panda. Preetisha painted a lovely picture of the village folks and gopis trying to locate the direction of Lord Krishna's flute amidst the dark rain clouds, with her arresting abhinaya in the song "O madhur banshi suno". At nineteen, Preetisha was able to internalise the poetry in the lyrics and distilled it through her dancing into a visually delightful experience. The composition of both the pieces was by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra.

The high point of this year's festival was the good quality of performances and the uniform standard of trained dancers, good looking too!

Dr. Nita Vidyarthi is a veteran critic of performing arts and writes on dance, music and theatre in leading publications.