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Saturday , July 14 , 2012
Sharmila Basu Thakur 

Indian classical dance believes in parampara. Imparting training through rigorous practice to nurture and propagate the art form is the essence of Indian classical dance. There are few institutions which understand this responsibility. Manipuri Nartanashram is an old institution with a vision of imparting systematic training in the art of Manipuri dance. Founded by Gauri Datta, a senior disciple of Guru Bipin Singh, this institution has been working dedicatedly for a long time.To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore,the institution, in association with Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, organized Rabindra Pranati at Rabindra Sadan under the able guidance of Gauri Datta. Tagore’s dance drama, Chitrangada, was staged as a part of this celebration. Datta believes in straight and simple presentations which reflect her strong conviction in the strength of her acquired art form. Much is happening today in the name of experimental choreography which, sometimes, ruins the purity of classical dance. Chitrangada, based on traditional Manipuri dance, had the usual format; yet it managed to touch the heart with its simplicity and honesty. This production was an earnest approach to the classical dance form. Suranjana Ghatak as Chitrangada was elegant and impressive. She has learnt the Manipuri dance form with care and sincerity. She looked more convincing and spontaneous in portraying the character of surupa Chitrangada than that of her kurupa self. Soft and supple movements of the dance style went well with the character of surupa. She excelled in lasya, but her tandava failed to impress. The transition from kurupa to surupa Chitrangada was done through a simple yet significant choreography. In a dance drama, the role of the group dancers is very important. Their perfect presence holds together the entire performance. Synchronized movements and choreographic patterns proved the dancers’ vigorous practice and skill. Sudipta Srivastav, Chitralekha Ray, Paramita Makhal, Rupa Chowdhury, Adrija Audhya, Poulami Bhoumik, Priyanka Biswas and Gouri Datta took part in the group performance.Though Arjuna has nothing much to do in Chitrangada, Debaldev Jana, a disciple of Guru Kalamandalam V. R. Venkitt and Preetha Venkitt, showed promise and had good stage presence. Arkaroop Sinha from Santiniketan portrayed the role of Madan. The entire performance was accompanied by old recorded music in which the songs were rendered by Roma Mondal (kurupa Chitrangada), Pramita Mullick (surupa Chitrangada), Abhirup Guhathakurta (Arjuna) and Agnibha Bandyapadhyay (Madan). The Manipuri dance and music were choreographed and composed by Guru Bipin Singh. Partha and Gouri Ghosh did the narration in their inimitable style. The lighting was designed by Uttiya Jana.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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