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Navapallava in Kolkata
- Sharmila Basu Thakur

June 19, 2019

Classical dance requires proper training, vigorous practice and ardent love for the art form. It is not very easy to pursue it as a career and progress. The essence of any performing art lies in its presentation, performance. A dancer feels an urge to perform, to showcase his or her understanding of the art form, talent and creativity in front of the audience. Here comes the most crucial part of the entire dance scenario. How to get that opportunity to perform on the basis of merit?

Along with the technical training, an intelligent and pragmatic guru could also show the students a decent way of sustenance. How to sustain in the world of classical dance without paying money has become more difficult these days. Navapallava is a recent movement against exploitative 'pay and perform' culture plaguing the world of Indian classical dance. This initiative taken by some of the most eminent classical dance gurus of India, aims to provide a dignified platform for committed young dancers.

Samila Bhattacharya

In Kolkata, noted Odissi dancer and choreographer Sharmila Biswas, presented two young dancers recently at The Doodle Room. The first artist of the evening was Samila Bhattacharya, a serious and dedicated Kathak dancer. Disciple of Rani Karnaa, Samila began her repertoire with Shiva vandana, an invocatory number. It was followed by dhamar, Viraha Milan Raas and trivatt. Her presentation was precise and crisp. Her clear footwork and rhythmic pirouettes proved that pure dance was her forte. She was graceful in sharing various moods of a nayika in Viraha Milan Raas. Shamila dazzled in trivatt, her last number, a pure dance composition.

Suraj Kumar Sahu

The second artist was Suraj Kumar Sahu, a brilliant Odissi dancer. So carefully and religiously he has imbibed the exquisite style of Guru Debaprasad Das. Nurtured and trained by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, Suraj began his recital with Sthayee Nritya. Choreographed by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, temple sculptures came alive through his performance. Bold and vibrant movements along with controlled abhinaya reflected the style so accurately. Sahu is an ideal male Odissi dancer in this style. It was followed by Shivastakam, a splendid and warmly received performance.

The intimate space of Doodle Room was full and enthusiastic audience was attentive and interactive. These types of arrangements are really needed. Dancers, dance lovers, rasikas along with other sensitive artistes should encourage this Navapallava initiative for the sake of healthy and sustainable classical dance scenario.

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

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