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- Sharmila Basu Thakur

April 18, 2019

Niravadhi kaal. Normally we use the word niravadhi like this, as an adjective for time (kaal), to express the limitless expansion, eternal vastness of time. Niravadhi means boundless. To explore this highly philosophical and abstract concept through dance is really a difficult job and a challenging proposition. But at the same time it is versatile as a concept. A dancer and choreographer can get immense possibility to play with movements, visual imageries, choreographic patterns and many more cerebral impulses to deal with such an open ended theme. It is not necessary that one has to stick to a particular storyline. One can start from somewhere as a reference point and then elaborate and explain according to one's creative conviction and standpoint.

Debashree Bhattacharya, a sensitive and sincere Kathak dancer, disciple of Rani Karnaa, staged her new production Niravadhi on April 9, 2019 at Gyan Manch, Kolkata. Conceived and choreographed by the dancer herself and presented by Samskritiki Shreyaskar, it was a visual treat, not in the light sense of the term. Apart from the initial small segment (where composition and costumes could have been better), the presentation moved forward with a natural spontaneity and feather-like lightness. It created an ambience full of grace and beauty. What a beautiful usage of sargam like sa re ga pa dha sa dha pa, where dance choreography and light design merged together in a poetic manner along with the musical support. The strength of the entire production was its free flowing stream like format to depict an abstract and serious concept. The depth of the concept did not overpower the choreography and made it ascetoric. Rather it conveyed the theme in a lucid manner. Here lies the excellence of the choreographic visualization.

The production attempted to explore the relation between sound and silence, between man and nature, between sensation, perception and cognition. The presentation was a search for the world of myriad questions and infinite possibilities. The perennial Upanishadic question, "who am I?" Seven dancers moved around the stage with precise movements, crisp chakkars and clear understanding of the art form. Debashree Bhattacharya and Sohini Debnath proved their mettle. Other dancers were Samila Bhattacharya, Somdutta Banerjee, Subarna Banerjee, Esha Chowdhury and Jayeeta Bhowmik.

This dance presentation was all about the perfect visualization of an absolute abstract theme and good team work. Two strong pillars of the production were light design and music. Sudip Sanyal acted like a magician in lighting in this production and Rajeswary Ganguly Banerjee handled music aptly. Niravadhi was an unending process of visual elaboration, in search of the true meaning of life. Bravo, Debashree Bhattacharya and her team. Keep this process going on,

Sharmila Basu Thakur is a journalist, trained classical dancer, dance critic, writer.