Angamantram, an institution of Bharatanatyam, founded by its artistic director Samrat Dutta celebrated an evening, which he named Pranmya was held with much fan-fare. It was held at Satyajit Ray Auditorium in Kolkata where the famed octogenarian CV Chandrasekhar presented a full-fledged Bharatanatyam recital to the request of admirers in the city.
Dutta had been initially trained under Bharatanatyam Guru Kalamandalam Thankamani Kutty, later learning Margam under Kalamandalam Piyal Bhattacharya. Presently he is under the tutelage of the grand-master of Bharatanatyam CV Chandrasekhar.
In his zeal to safeguard the pristine qualities of the performing arts and to proliferate it among the upcoming generations he presented the veteran artist at ICCR Kolkata. Students of Dutta performed Puspanjali, Ganesh Stuti, Alaripu and Keertanam.
Dutta’s solo Bharatanatyam presentation subsequently was the bhajan “Shankara Rudra Roop Dikhlao” in Shankara ragam and adi talam. He was at his best in this piece which was in Hindi and the music was a Hindustani Raga and not the usual Carnatic Ragam.
CV Chandrasekhar whose fame and name as a great performer, teacher, scholar is unknown to none, performed to an admiring audience. Invocation of Karthikeya and the Kamboji Varnam “Nadanai Azaith va Sakhi hey” was truly an expression of “art for art’s sake”.
It showed the way to display all the rasas as a performer. Presentation of the blind poet Surdas’ Bhajan “Dinana dukha harana deva Sanatana hitkari” citing episodes from the epics to substantiate the uncountable number of times Hari has helped those who needed him and then appealing to him to relieve him of his sorrows displayed the veteran guru’s skill in abhinaya-a great learning for future generation dancers.
In “Nindati Chandana” from Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda Chandrasekhar gives a friendly message to Krishna about the degree of despondency of Radha in his absence, so much so that even the sweet fragrance of sandalwood paste revolts her.
The senior guru’s versatility was seen in the rendition of his dance composition to the Rabindra Sangeet “Oi Malatilata dole”. Not for nothing does he chair the post of Tagore professor in the University of Madras. Being the Nattuvanar for CV Chandrasekhar’s recital was a feather in the cap of Mohana Iyer.
Vocalist Jyotishmati Sheejith, violinist Easwar Ramakrishnan and mridangist Vedakrishna Ram did better than their best truly charging the rasikas. The evening was all about revealing the concept of Guru-Sishya Parampara.
Young and talented Kathaka Vishal Krishna has had a brilliant and spectacular rise in his chosen field. Trained in the art of Kathak by his illustrious grandmother, the Kathak Queen Sitara Devi and his father Mohan Krishna, he is presently one of the most talented dancers of the genre today.
Bundi Maharaj Sangeeth Vidyapeeth in association with Alka Jalan Foundation presented Kathaka Vishal Krishna on the third day of Kasi Utsab held at Daga Nikunj, recently. The holy river Ganga washing the shores of Kasi Visvanath temple naturally made Krishna choose to perform two of his much acclaimed and performed pieces “Devi Suresvari Bhagavati Gange” authored by Adi Shankaracharya and a Shiv Tandava in pure joy and ecstasy.
In the purest Banaras gharana style of performance he extolled the qualities of Ganga, who resides on the head of Shankara and sought for her lotus feet. He ardently asked for her protection. The open-air performance space with green foliage all around created the right ambience to let people’s imagination take a flight and see the Ganga flowing in their mind’s eye.
Pirouetting all around the stage, with swift foot work, he had the audience in his grip, before switching off to show the intricacies of 16 matra teen taal.
Starting with Uthaan, he displayed stunning speed, accompanied with impeccable tala and a strong grip over the technical aspect of the form, displaying do palla bols with the sound of the pakhawaj — a percussion instrument and off beat bols. He rendered the beauties of Dhata ki tunga bols and their use, which he had learnt from his grandfather.
In gath Nikas he did Radha Krishna gath with authenticity. The audience had no problem in imagining the coming of monsoon, at first with tiny drops falling from the sky on his arms and face, which soon turned to big drops of rain, because Krishna was sweating profusely and with his expression of exhilaration when rain soaked, played the trick.
He performed the Mayur Gath learnt from his grandmother. The music also created sounds of thunder storm, which lent well to peacocks spreading their wings to dance the dance of joy. In the Bhav batana segment he called upon his cousin Priti Misra from the audience to sing for him.
The incident appeared to have been performed extempore. But was it truly unrehearsed? At least it didn’t appear so. Misra’s voice was so good and people were left hankering for more. The words of the Thumr “Batiya Kahe ko banai re sawariya” as there was a very thin line of division between romantic love and eroticism in the thumri.
Krishna’s recital ended with a crisp Jugal bandi. On the tabla was the stalwart Gopal Misra and Krishna’s brother Kushal. Sandeep Neogi the sitarist and Prateek Banerjee the vocalist created a magic web and entrapped the audience. Vijay Misra fittingly mingled with the ensemble.
Alka Jalan Foundation presented Brahma Dhyanam Puraskar to Krishna as well as all the members of the musical ensemble as Sashi Bangar gave away the prizes.