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Samskriti 2019
- Prerana Naidu Paidipati

May 13, 2019

Devmudraa - A Movement School is a cultural trust, established in 2006 by V Soumyasri, a Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi artiste, teacher, choreographer and research scholar. Devmudraa has earned a name in the performing arts in Aurangabad because of its various cultural activities.

Samskriti was started in 2011 with an aim to promote Indian classical dances and invite artists of repute to the heritage city of Aurangabad. The festival was conceptualized and started by Ramdas V Pawar, an eminent educationist, writer, theatre playwright, and creative director, and V Soumyasri. This is the 9th year they are organizing this festival. It was spread over two days (April 24 and 25, 2019) bringing in World Dance Day a little early.

Bharatanatyam dancer Ketki Nevpurkar, who is the Director of Dhyas Performing Arts, Aurangabad, opened the festival by presenting traditional pieces from the Bharatanatyam Margam which included Ganesh Kirtanam, Thillana, and Bhajan along with her disciples Manasi and Riddi. They set the traditional mood for the festival.

Ketki Nevpurkar

Vitthal Tukayacha

Vitthal Tukayacha - a Journey of Bliss, a pilgrimage of fulfilment, a dance drama on the life and writing of Sant Tukaram of Maharashtra happens to be the first choreographic piece performed by Devmudraa group in Bharatanatyam and Warkari Sankeertan style. Directed by Ramdas V Pawar and choreographed by V Soumyasri, this was their 20th show. It was a visual treat for all of us as the show was performed with live music. The audience was so immersed in the devotion of Lord Vitthal that the rasikas started singing along to the Abhangs (poetry sung in praise of Lord Vitthal).

Srikrishna Nartana Sobha, a thematic presentation in Kuchipudi showcased various aspects of Lord Krishna, based on the lyrical compositions called 'Akshara Hamsalu', which was composed by Goparaju Venkata Subbarao (known as 'Mahadeva Shambo'). Beautifully choreographed by Guru Dr. Rajyalakshmi Seth the entire story of Lord Krishna was condensed in an hour. The highlight of the evening was the Tarangam in which the dancer holds a small pot with water on the head and other dancer stands on the edge of brass plate balancing while dancing to difficult rhythmic patterns.

Srikrishna Nartana Sobha

Vaibhav Arekar

A solo dance drama Debotar Grash was presented by Vaibhav Arekar, director of Sankhya Dance Company, Mumbai. He presented a beautiful and enigmatic relationship between a little boy and his mother through Rabindranath Tagore's celebrated poem. He enthralled the audience with his chiseled movements and techniques in his presentation of 'Ardhanareeshvara.' The impactful performance by Vaibhav left the audience spellbound.

The special feature about the festival was that a nritta and nritya workshop in Bharatanatyam was conducted by Vaibhav Arekar on 26th April for the young classical dance students in Aurangabad. The students benefitted a lot from the full day workshop, got many detailing for practicing fine nuances and techniques of Bharatanatyam. It was a treat for many to revisit the understanding of Indian classical dances from different perceptions.

Prerana Naidu Paidipati is a Kuchipudi dance student, a Management student, and a freelance writer from Hyderabad.