Charms of Odissi explored

Atrayee Dutta’s Odissi performance was the highlight of a dance fest in Visakhapatnam

Visakha Music and Dance Academy’s three-day annual fest of classical dance unveiled grace and grandeur of different dance forms. With a lion share of performances in Kuchipudi style, it mostly featured artistes of promise, besides a ballet Kirata Vilasam by team of local artistes. The budding artistes of different schools essayed given pieces with great enthusiasm. Both in solos and group numbers these artistes displayed the best of their abilities.

Kolakata-based Odissi danseuse Atrayee Dutta’s performance was the highlight of the fest. In just a less than one hour performance she kept the auditorium spell-bound. With a perfect grip over the intricate choerographic patterns and expressional élan, she breathed life into the characters that she chose to portray. The fluid ease with which she executed complex jathis made her look like a verse in kinesis on the stage. Be it Lord Siva and Parvati or Radha and Krishna, she captured even minute nuances of expression in a wide range of sancharis. That she assimilated the grace and charms of maestro Kelucharan Mohapatra’s distinct choreography remained evident in every frame.

She opened the performance with Ardhanareeshwara sthotram ‘Champaya gouradha sareerakaya’of Adi Sankaracharya. In a superlative poetic description of Ardhanaareeswara, that epitomizes the seamless harmony of male and female elements in the cosmos and its synergy in unison found exceptional expression in her performance. The way Kelubabu translated it into kinetic idiom of Odissi stood well-executed in her performance. The lines ‘Jhanth quanath kankana nupurarai, padabja rajathphani nupuraya’ salutations to Goddess Parvathi who wears jingling ankle bells and Lord Shiva for whom serpents serve as anklets and ornaments, the unmatched juxtaposition seemingly contrary shades of beauty and fearsome in nature came alive in gestural vocabulary holding the viewers in thrall.

With no intermission, even before the audience came out of the spell, she slipped into the role of Radha for Sakhi, yehi kesi madana, an ashtapadi of Jayadev. In delineation of the mindscape of virahotkhantitha Nayaki Radha who shares with her dear sakhi the details of her intimate moments with Lord Krishna, Atrayee was in her element, connecting the spiritual with the romantic, her artistic energy kept pouring out in a poised and measured flow in more chiseled and softer improvisations of its mood and expression. She vivified the subtle shades of romance in the first flush of love and its soul-forgetful moments in sweet recollection in a breath-taking manner that remained lingering in minds even after the curtains downed.

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