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Odissi odyssey

Sujata Mohapatra performing at the Birla Auditorium

Whoever rightly said true bliss is hard to experience; The more we mortals desire for it, the more it eludes us. What is it that this feeling embraces in itself which is so relative yet so universal. For all this, elation may be as simple as achievement, passion, love, bonding, sharing, compromise, service or even just a smile that touches the heart and leaves a mark!

Well, it was nothing short of a bliss that emanated from watching an exquisite odissi performance of Sujata Mahopatra in Hyderabad recently. There are those few moments in life when there is a realization of what was always craved for and marks the end of a long search. Sujata Mohapatra’s recital was surely within this gamut.

A beautifully lit and aesthetically designed Bhaskar auditorium in the Birla Bhavan welcomed the splendid dancer to a most soothing play of music by a seasoned team of orchestra. Most items were masterpieces standing testimony to the genius of the legend Shri Kelucharan Mahopatra. There were no two thoughts on how this was much justified by Ms. Mahopatra, as she danced to glory.

Starting with a Mangal Charan, she went on the present a very traditionally rooted Pallavi bringing to the fore all the grace and charm of odissi. Her dance was picture perfect, especially to the eyes of students like me where it was a visual deconstruction of the theoretical oddissi that we studied in realms of papers and books. Just the right subtlety, the right firmness, the right elegance and the right vibrancy characterized all through.

Like it is but natural to expect an undisturbed sight of the Lord on a visit to the temple, it is but impossible to miss Jayadeva in odissi and the art lover did get his reward in ‘Hey Sakhi’ an intoxicating display of Sringara.

The scenes of the Abhisarika Nayika quickly slipping out of the house, untying her anklets, and the magical moment of blowing the candle off with her hands coordinated perfectly with a corresponding lighting effect, held the audience at the edge of the seat watching her in awe.

The grandeur then came in the final piece – The Ramayanam which served as a fitting example of how simple things can become so colourful. Be it Rama chasing the golden deer, the beautiful movement fading into the side screen while sita being taken away by Ravana and the howling of Jatayu, this was a treat, an unmatched treat to say the least where the mind body and soul elevated into pleasant calmness.

Trividya Peetham , the organization takes all the credit for conceiving the concept of ‘Artistes for artistes’ and showcasing stalwarts, giving a learning and enriching experience to the younger generation.

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