On the penultimate evening of the 5-day Konark Festival-2020, the audience enjoyed the presentation of Kathak and Odissi dance, the choreographies were outstanding as very innovative yet holding to the essence of the traditional bearings of both the repertoires.
As the first performance, ‘Ranan’, the Kathak based performing company from Kolkata showcased a series of recitals titled ‘Vaichitra’ – a contemporary ballet in Kathak style that narrates a journey through the traditional repertoire, with specific focus on compositions from Padmashree recipient Rani Karnaa. The presentation moves through a collage spanning both pure dance and experimental pieces. These are woven together with especially composed music that explores various Talas and Ragas of Hindustani Classical Music.
Ranan, co-founded by Bikram Iyengar and Deboshree Bhattacharya is focused on practice and production of innovative choreography, exploring between dance and theater. The institution tries build bridges between people, experiences and ideas through arts. The desire is to demystify classical dance and make it accessible and enjoyable for the whole range of audiences.
Bhubaneswar based Rudrakshya Foundation presented two Odissi recitals, ‘Kali-Krishna’ and ‘Chakravyuha’ as the closing performance of the evening. The composition of ‘Kali-Krishna’ explores many similarities and contrasts between Krisna and Kali. Both the Lord and the Goddess of the Hindu Pantheon appear to be similar and different. A poetic narration from the point of view of an ardent devotee when he beholds Shyam merging into Shyama, finds it extremely perplexing, but euphoric. Failing to comprehend it all, he acknowledges that this is a Leela, the Supreme Maya.
The next recital ‘Chakravyuha’ is an episode from Mahabharata delineates how Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna finds it difficult to overcome and come out of the labyrinthine walls of soldiers being formulated by Dronacharya, but continues fighting despite fatal injuries until he is dead by the joint assault of the Kaurabas.
Rudrakshya Foundation has been vibrantly performing inside and outside the country under the guidance of Guru Bichitrananda Swain, who is an excellent choreographer and reputed Guru of Odissi dance of present generation.
(The writer is a Senior Journalist and National Award winning Film director.)