CLASSICAL DANCES CATCH EVOCATIVE VIBES OF ETERNAL MAN THROUGH TAGORE’S POETRY

Fun & Frolic

BY Leela Venkataraman in India Heritage Desk

Categories like traditional and contemporary dissolve in Tagore’s poetry which essentially catches Eternal Man, in all his colours. A scholar on Tagore’s works, Dr.Utpal Banerjee (recognised with a Padmashri award for his expertise) conceived of a delightful evening of classical dance hosted by Indira Ganesh and organised by R.Sreenivasan, under the aegis of India International Centre at the IIC auditorium, based on Tagore’s poetry.Established dancers selected from various dance disciplines, specially known for their sensitivity in abhinaya, in order of appearance, were Puvadhanashree (Vilasini Natyam), Kavita Dwibedi (Odissi), Pratibha Prahlad (Bharatanatyam) and Saswati Sen (Kathak).

Fun and Frolics 101

With Kamalini Dutt’s creative collaboration, the poem Purva selected for interpretation Saadh (The Desire), by settling for a vocalist like Samina De singing the original Bengali poem, preserved the linguistic ambiance of Tagore’s work, with Tanjavur Kesavan’s rhythmic inputs and mridangam accompaniment, tabla by Gyan Singh, Dr. S vasudevan’s nattuvangam and Rajat Prasanna’s flute chiming in with sensitive support. Purva’s interpretative skills, honed under years of training in Vilasini Natyam under Swapnasundari exudes an inner joy which ideally chimed in with the uplifting nature of Desire, where hope and expectation rising high bloom among the clouds and amidst the stars. This abstract state-of-being lost amidst the birds floating in comfort in the sky, was convincingly caught in the dancer’s highly internalised interpretation. Not going beyond the grammatical boundaries of the lasya-filled Vilasini Natyam even in the teermanams, the dance not having the ambit of bodily spread of Bharatanatyam leaps and jumps and leg stretches, the dancer through intensity of feeling (filling the dancer’s inner space), retained in the contained performance the soaring feel of taking off into space in joy. Lines like “..hriday mor megher mato, aakaash maajhe haasity chaay” or “paakhir gaan laage re Jena, deher chaaripaashe” with the songs of birds caressing the body were very suggestively brought out in the dancer’s gestures and expressions. Sung in the form of a thumri with feeling, the joyous finale with the garden filled with sounds of Dawn’s laughter and the laughter of flowers got represented through a Tillana in Kapi ragam sung by A.Venkateshwar, winsomely rendered through light footed nritta.

Fun and Frolics 167

Odissi dancer Kavita Dwibedi in Shapan (The Dream) “Dine hai ek-mato rate hai aar” wondered at the polarities she saw in herself – from what she was in her wakeful state and what she became in her nocturnal dreams – seemingly representing two contradictory selves – one a reluctant school goer being pushed by her youngest uncle, the other flying in the sky, a cloud searching for the rainbow, travelling on the wings of the wind, crossing the seas to spread ‘water -showers’. Rudely awakened by the thunderclap, she trembles looking for Mom, nowhere near. Kavita’s evolving artistic creativity now has the strong support of singer Suresh Kumar Sethi, whose Pallavi composition in Brindavan Sarang for this work, coming in as punctuation after every interpretative segment, changed the level of the work completely. With Aavery Chaurey for guidance, and her own very involved expressional talents (her now more trim presence aesthetically turned out), Kavita’s Odissi did full justice to the poem, Indira Mukherjee helping out with the poetry recitation parts. While the nritta parts for the Pallavi were well conceived and laya perfect, the chauka position so central to Odissi, tended to be less articulated than required.

Fun and Frolics 198

Pratibha Prahalad in her Bharatanatyam homage to Tagore and Utpal Banerjee, skilfully wove in passages from three poems – exploring the mother/child relationship – Aakul Aahbaan (The Fervent Call), Maa-Lakshmee (Goddess Lakshmi), and Shishur Mrityu (Death of a Child). A mother’s heartache at the loss of a child, the apple of her eye on whom she has lavished all love and care, whose heart could not bear the slightest tear in the child’s eyes and she sorrowfully asks Nature why as Lord of endless treasures, Nature needed the victorious thrill of emptying a mother’s heart by taking away the one treasure of her life? The dancer’s knitting of selected passages from each into a seamless whole, had Sudha Raghuraman’s very moving music in Neelambari, in Vasantha and finally in an evocative.Tanam passage set to Kalyani. Sudha added bhava through the contours of the raga while the highly emotive passages in Bengali were recited by Mahua Chowdhury. Stages of the child growing up under the mother’s care and love came as interspersed passages while the refrain of the Mother anxiously awaiting the daughter’s arrival – …”Kothay gelo Raanee aamaar Raanee” became the eternal cry of the bereaved mother. The dancer in a theme, which could have strayed into exaggerated histrionics, retained the aesthetic level undiluted. Chandrasekhar’s muted mridangam and G. Raghuraman’s plaintive flute notes added to the total impact.

Fun and Frolics 219

Saswati Sen, given her penchant for abhinaya, had the double advantage of dealing with home territory –for as a person from Bengal, she was on familiar ground with Tagore’s poetry. Banabaas (Banishment to the Wood) is a quaint child/mother interaction, wherein the child challenges the mother that if he only had a brother like Lakshman for company, he too would go to the forest without qualms, if his father like Rama were to send him. He would, under a tree shade, fix up a home for all, and would feed the deer with the tree leaves, make a garland out of the blooming flowers, share the fruit he collected with brother Lakshman, eating out of a lotus leaf, play a tune on the flute and watch the peacock dance, and the squirrel scurrying around. But for all that – he had to have a brother like Lakshman. The poem clearly echoes the child’s cry for a sibling. Saswati successfully drew on Kathak’s ancestry with the Katha vachak tradition, for the narrative bits of a mother/child dialogue. Kathak’s rich nritta bits of ginti compositions, tukras and Mayur gat, became links connecting interpretative passages with some footwork also woven in. Music composed by Pandit Birju Maharaj , had Abirban Bhattacharya for the vocal support with Utpal Ghosh on the tabla and Ajay Prasanna providing flute accompaniment.

Utpal Banerjee could hardly have wished for a better thanksgiving than what the evening provided.

Guru Ghanakanta Bora, Anwesa : Sattriya @ SPIC MACAY Intl Convention, IIMC
Leela Venkataraman

LEELA VENKATARAMAN

Advertisements

Sreeni’s SPANDAN 2014 culminates with a bang at IHC – Media Coverage!

SPANDAN 2014, a brainchild of R. Sreenivasan and Indira Ganesh, was painstakingly and lovingly compiled. It is all about celebrating the ‘Journey of INFINITY’ as Sreeni calls it – discovering the infinite potential within. With love towards performing arts and fine arts, Sreeni intends to inspire every youth to push oneself in their areas of passion and excel in life.

While the Dance Photography Exhibition with over 30+ photographers celebrated that ‘Journey of Infinity’ of the dancers who have made a difference, the Dance Evening celebrated the young and not so young dancers who are on their way to establish themselves in the world of dance.

It gave Sreeni, immense pleasure to welcome each viewer and every youth to the second edition of SPANDAN – a celebration of human spirit in the form of dance, generously supported by INDIA HABITAT CENTRE (IHC) and CL EDUCATE, earlier known as Career Launcher. It was heartening indeed to interact with scores of youth, elders and intellectuals apart from dancers and dance lovers during the SPANDAN Photo exhibition and the dance evening.

Here are a few coverages of SPANDAN in the media…. if you want to read the original article in the respective English publication, kindly click on the article here.

HINDUSTAN, April 26, 2014 previews WORLD DANCE WEEK – “Kahin dance photo pradarshini, tho kahin dance sandhya ka ayojan” – “While Dance photos exhibited at one place, dance evening organized at the other

SPANDAN Hindustan article

Frozen fleet by Ms Anjana Rajan in THE HINDU, MAY 05, 2014 – Sreeni’s SPANDAN 2014, the festival of WORLD Dance Photography / Evening

SPANDAN 2014 - The Hindu Article by Ms. Anjana Rajan

A step towards excellence, Pioneer Daily – Thursday, 08 May 2014 | Utpal K Banerjee

SPANDAN 2014 Pioneer Article by Sri Utpal K Banerjee

Dialogue of Dance, The Statesman – Thursday, 15 May 2014 – by Manjari Sinha

STATESMAN - Spandan featured in Manjari Sinha ji's column

More expected…

Indeed the 4 weeks of craziness to get SPANDAN going and the 10 days of event culminating with the dance evening! …..the intensity has been elevating and enervating too…helping me to discover more and more of me in the Journey OF INFINITY….

My humble bow to each one of you who has facilitated me to put the entire SPANDAN 2014 festival. I am sure the festival has ignited in every visitor and audience a desire to excel in life. Kindly pardon me for all my inadvertently committed mistakes.

More action on plate now, as I cruise ahead in my journey….on CL front and HOME front too.. keep watching!

Looking forward to your blessings for life.

Love and regards,

Sreeni

Photos of the SPANDAN 2014 – Dance Photography exhibition at Habitat environs

SPANDAN 2014

Videos on Youtube of the inauguration
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAVfRnpZu6mpY45iMpCKYlQ

SPANDAN’s second edition from April 25th-May 5th – Sreeni humbly invites each one of you…

Spandan_Invitation_2014

Dear Gurus and Friends,

It gives me immense pleasure to invite each one of you to SPANDAN 2014, celebrating the SPirit of DANce, paying our humble tributes to the SPAN of world DANce!

Starting on 25th of April 2014, the dance photography exhibition in the open spaces of IHC will go on for ten days and culminates with the Festival evening that celebrates the SPIRIT OF WORLD DANCE on May 5th, with a bouquet of performances SPANNING THE WORLD DANCE FORMS.

——————

SPANDAN 2014 – World Dance photography Exhibition : April 25-May 05, 2014

We are immensely privileged to have the participation of the following brilliant photographers who are contributing immensely to the cause of WORLD DANCE FORMS. I humbly thank each one of them… (if any names missed, I apologize. Kindly draw my attention. Thanks)

– Abhijith Madhukar
– Avinash Pasricha
– Edina
– Giridhar Chandrasekhar
– Hareesh Melayil
– Hareesh Namboothri
– Inni Singh
– Jerome Calyster
– Jeyakumar Sathyamoorthy
– Karthik Siva
– Keerthi Amit
– KP Sreehari
– Mamta Diman
– Mohit Abrol
– Navneet Kaur Ahuja
– Prasad Siddhanthi
– Rajyasree Ghosh Tinni
– Ramesh Lalvani
– Rijil KS
– Ruben Lozano Garcia
– R. Sreenivasan
– Rumeli Datta Mazumdar Dawn
– Sanjay Yadav
– Shankar Bhattacharyya
– Suchit Nanda
– Sugeeth Krishna
– Sunny Lamba
– Vinu Nair
– Vj Renju

SPANDAN 2014 – World Dance Evening : May 05, 2014. 7:00pm

We are delighted to have the following INSPIRING ARTISTS and TALENTS, enriching the WORLD DANCE Constellation with their MESMERIZING PERFORMANCES

– Kathak : Astha Dixit, the performance dedicated to Sufism
– Sattriya: Anwesa Mahanta
– Bharatanatyam: Emerging Dancers, Natya Vriksha; Disciples of Guru Geeta Chandran

awaiting their final world –

– Chhau : a spirited performance encompassing the three forms of Chhau
– WORLD Dance : Latino/Spanish forms
– World FOLK Dance : European
– WORLD Dance : a confluence of Middle-eastern, Latin and American free dance forms

LAST Year over 7000 visitors graced the exhibition and the dance evening ran a packed overflowing house at STEIN Auditoium, IHC.

Kindly check the YOUTUBE link for SPANDAN 2013 edition –

Kindly check the FLICKR collection for all dimensions of the festival –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sreenivasan/collections/72157633432467224/

LOOKING FORWARD to seeing you all at the exhibition and the dance evening.

HUMBLY REMAIN,

LOVE.
——————–For the benefit all those participating or keen, I have the left the ‘invitation note”, here under ——

INVITATION to SUBMIT YOUR BEST DANCE CAPTURES

LAST DATE OF SUBMISSION : MARCH 28, 2014, 11:59pm

In the last edition of 2013 of SPANDAN, I initiated with my own photographs for want of time; In this years edition I wish to have the best from around the world, through what people call CLOUND SOURCING !
——————–
Last year we had 16 panels, each devoted to a dance form –

INDIAN
– Eight Classical forms as noted by SNA –
– Bharatanatyam,
– Kathak,
– Odissi,
– Kathakali,
– Mohiniyattam,
– Kuchipudi,
– Manipuri,
– Sattriya
– A panel on Martial art/FOLK dance forms of immense energy : Chhau, Bhangra, Garba,…
– A contemporary Dance Panel- A Panel of captures in the open spaces
– JOURNEY OF Infinity – portraying the immense years of dedicated effort in excelling in the world space

WORLD
– FAR eastern panel with Korean, Japan and Chinese forms
– BALLET from Russian and European geography
– FREE Dance from around the World and India
– LATIN / SPANISH Dance forms
———————–

I humbly invite all DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY ENTHUSIASTS to submit their TWO best photographs from their captures. Let it span the dance forms from around the world.

WHERE ALL SPANDAN may GO –

SPANDAN may travel to Chennai in JUNE for SPICMACAY International convention at IIT CHENNAI, and possibly to LONDON for festival of Indian DANCE and MUSIC in JULY.

HOW TO and BY WHEN?

a. UPLOAD your best two in the group DANCE PHOTOGRPHY (on FB), the RAW Format of the capture should be there with you for later purpose if selected (needed for printing large versions). Kindly give details of the capture
– Dancer
– Dance Form
– Festival, where it has been captured, with dates

b. clearly LABEL the posting as FOR SPANDAN 2014. PHOTO 1 and PHOTO 2. If at all you have to write your name/signature on the photo, let it be very discreet on a margin

c. LAST DATE OF SUBMISSION is March 28, 2014 11:59 pm

SELECTION and FOLLOW UP

d. THE DECISION OF THE SELECTION COMMITTEE comprising eminent Dance photographers, critiques and dancers IS FINAL

e. IF Selected, will be asked to send the RAW FORMAT of the same by email.

f. THE SELECTED works will become part of a classified panel and credits will be given. This is my effort in showcasing the brilliance in the dance photography space and the contribution each one is making for furthering the cause of the dance forms.

IMPORTANT, for EXPECTATIONS –

I WISH TO MAKE THIS FESTIVAL, A FESTIVAL OF EVERY DANCE LOVER. I am investing immensely from my own pocket to showcase, hence WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PAY anything for your contribution, apart from making your work known to connoisseurs and lovers of dance. (last year over 7000 people visited the exhibition)

I CERTAINLY WELCOME IF YOU WISH TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CORPUS TO HELP ME MAKE THIS EFFORT A GRAND SUCCESS. IF ANY ONE CAN BRING IN SPONSORS, I WILL BE DELIGHTED. SPONSORS’ LOGO AND NAME WILL BE DISPLAYED AT THE VENUE OF EXHIBITION !

I ADMIT that I MAY RECOUP the cost incurred for the exhibition displays – printing, framing, logistics of taking the exhibition around – by selling the works proactively this time. SOLD or UNSOLD, I shall intimate you.

IF any works remain unsold, and you want your work back at the end of the exhibitions, then the costs incurred, (calculated by the size and kind of prints/transportation/logistics etc) will have to be paid! It will go into a corpus for future, and encourages me to keep going on this path of promoting brilliance. I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND MY SPIRIT and intention. I AM SURE YOU WILL HELP ME

LAST DATE OF SUBMISSION : MARCH 28, 2014, 11:59pm

Narthanam – SPIC MACAY Special, decked with Sreeni’s photo captures

NARTHANAM’s (a respected quarterly journal on Indian Dance) special issue, dedicated to the movement of SPIC MACAY is out!

Sincere bow to the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for promotion of Indian Classical Music and culture among youth) for kindling the love for music, dance, culture and heritage. The special issue of Narthanam on SPIC MACAY is embellished by hundreds of captures by me, of the movement over the years, as my humble dedication to the cause ..

Narthanam - SPIC MACAY Special, Sreeni's photo captures

Kindly contribute to the cause of spic macay, and also subscribe Nartanam. See the excerpts from the issue at http://www.nartanam.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/special-issue-on-s…

Love and regards,

sreeni
http://www.facebook.com/SREENIViews
SREENIViews Photography & Visual arts

The Pioneer – Vivacity : Sreeni’s captures feature in the review of Tarpan by Utpal Banerjee

Glad to contribute to the columns in The pioneer of Sri Utpal Banerjee, an octogenarian, a much sought after research scholar continues to contribute immensely in the space of performing arts. I heard him talking and advising about what IGNCA can really do with the ex-ICCR director general, Mr. Suresh Goyal!

Sreeni's captures in various media in March 2014

Sreeni's captures in various media in March 2014

The Pioneer – Vivacity’s review on dance festival Tarpan by Utpal K Banerjee carries Sreeni’s capture

At the ongoing celebration of the platinum jubilee of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Kuchipudi dancer Amrita Lahiri and Kathak dancer Vishal Krishna teamed up with experts of other dance forms to present a unique fusion. Utpal K Banerjee’s review of Tarpan – celebrations of 75 years of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya – dance segment in The Pioneer features Sreeni’s captures.

At the ongoing celebration of the platinum jubilee of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Kuchipudi dancer Amrita Lahiri and Kathak dancer Vishal Krishna teamed up with experts of other dance forms to present a unique fusion. By Utpal K Banerjee

At the ongoing celebration of the platinum jubilee of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Kuchipudi dancer Amrita Lahiri and Kathak dancer Vishal Krishna teamed up with experts of other dance forms to present a unique fusion. By Utpal K Banerjee

Kuchipudi performance by Amrita Lahiri, mentored by Odissi Guru Sharmila Biswas

Kuchipudi performance by Amrita Lahiri, mentored by Odissi Guru Sharmila Biswas

THE HINDU – Friday Review on dance by Leela ji features Sreeni’s photos

Celebrated dance critique Mrs Leela Venkataraman’s weekly review on dance performances in the capital, titled WINDS OF EXCHANGE was embellished with Sreeni’s two photographs – that of Kathak and Ballet confluence – Fragments of dreams, and the other is of the FLAMENCO performance by the troupe from SPAIN as part of the festival, CONNECTIONS by Indo-French choreographer Rukmini Chatterjee.

The HIndu Friday Review March 28, 2014 2

Rukmini chatterjee;s fragments of Dreams

Rukmini chatterjee;s fragments of Dreams

Fragrments of Dreams - Rukmini chatterjee's Concept, Sanjukta Sinha's soulful execution with Anuj and Fernando

%d bloggers like this: