Venue: India Habitat Centre
Date: 10 January, 2017
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was among the forerunners to bring Odissi out of temple premises and bring that to stage. He is eponymous to the revival of Odissi. Srijan a dance group by his son and disciple Ratikanta Mohapatra has been promoting the Guru’s works. They have big shoes to fill and expectations sore high from this group. No wonder when they had a show Antardhwani at IHC, notwithstanding the bitter cold, the auditorium was almost full. The performances that we saw were the abduction of Sita from Ramayana and the story of the descent of River Ganga.
We were very impressed with the precision that the dancers followed during the performances. Not a single step or movement was out of place. Moreover the beautiful formations during Ganga made it more like a piece of theatre than a dance performance.
Entertainment seemed to be the guiding principle throughout the show.
This is little tricky especially for a traditional dance form like Odissi. Classical dance is more a means of enjoyment than entertainment. Therefore while some contemporary twists are welcome, a complete overhaul is uncalled for. We wondered why they had a recorded track. Was it so difficult to get accompanying artists in Delhi? Moreover the long soliloquy before Ganga was unnecessary. It displayed a lack of confidence on part of the choreographer of the act.
The pieces could also do with some editing to reduce the duration..
Net-net the Odissi performance though was good could be better.