Presenting a unique concept, US-based Kathak dancer Anindita Neogy Anaam and Bhubaneswar-based storyteller and content writer Prachitara have teamed up to spread a message of love and peace. They have created a visual presentation in which Prachitara recites anti-war poem Pakaana Boma, written by Odia poet Dr Prassana Kumar Mishra, and Anindita performs on it.

The video has been recently released on YouTube.

Written in 1982, Pakaana Boma gives a strong message of love and peace. Though the poem was written on the Hiroshima bombings, it is relevant in today’s times too, feel the artistes.

Prachitara is the daughter of Dr Prassana Kumar Mishra.

“It is an anti war poem contradicting every reason that the politicians give for a war and thus implying the pointlessness of war. It also tells us a description of the war in the view of a child whose thought has not been corrupted yet. The world is going through a rough phase of political instability in many countries including border tensions brewing between us and our neighbours. So we felt perhaps this is the right time to release the project and send this message of love, peace and non-violence,” says Prachitara.

READ | Anindita Anaam — Bridging the East-West gap with Kathak

The first ever duet of recitation and dance in Odia has the dance choreographed by Anindita, who has been working on propagating Kathak in America, especially in regions without a thriving Indian population. She was awarded the Jayadev Rastriya Yuva Puraskar last year.

Prachitara had sent recitation of the poem to Anindita along with an English translation of it. Anindita, who is not an Odia, choreographed the piece with the help of the translation.

“I met Prachi during my visit to Odisha for a show and while we were discussing on various issues and how a classical dancer needs to tell a story away from mythology and epics to connect the younger audience, she came up with the proposal of doing something artistic with a poem penned by her father. It was a poem which encapsulated the feeling of helplessness and tragedies war comes with. Everyone pays a heavy price and there is no winner in this man-made catastrophe for power carefully executed by few ruling politicians,” said Anindita.

The two artistes were geographically apart, but worked hard to make the video happen.

“Working with Prachi was a great experience. She worked on translation, explained the kind of emotions I need to portray as a dancer, the costume and the facial expressions,” said Anindita.

Produced under the banner of Prachitarafilms, the video was released on YouTube on 8 March. The camera has been handled by Suvendu Ghadai and Shaaz Anaam, while post production was done at Phoenix Films Lab.