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Devadasi Dance Festival showcased beautiful recitals by dancers

The Devdasi National Dance festival kickstarted on Monday evening at the Rabindra Mandap auditorium in Bhubaneswar to celebrate classical dance and its spiritual connection. The concert, which celebrates the Indian dance forms that have evolved at the sanctum sanctorum of temples, entered its seventh edition this year.

14 young and acclaimed soloists from India, Russia and America representing all the eight Indian classical dance traditions and the ritualistic dance styles of the erstwhile devdasis of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh – Mahari and Vilasini Natyam respectively are showcased in this three-day annual dance festival.

On the opening day, Pratima Mohanty from Puri inaugurated the festival in a traditional way with a Mahari recital. The dancer gave the audience a treat of the ancient dance form of the Jagannath temple in Puri. Mohanty portrayed delicate movements through which she depicted the various services to Lord Jagannath that are performed as rituals. Decked with flowers and ornaments from head to toe, she brought alive the memories of Devadasis or temple dancers.
devadasi national dance festival
New Delhi-based Gauri Diwakar, a disciple of the doyen of Kathak Pandit Birju Maharaj and the charming danseuse Aditi Mangaldas, presented a pure dance recital as well as an abhinaya.

Russian Odissi dancer Irina Komissarova, who is being trained by Odissi exponent Sujata Mohapatra, presented Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s choreography on Ardhanariswara – the union of Lord Shiv and Goddess Shakti.

Guwahati girl Kakoli Pathak’s Sattriya was enjoyable as she displayed the rituals of worship with agile moves in her dance.

The most striking recital of the evening was by Chennai based Bharatnatyam artiste Meenakshi Srinivasan. Her effortless expressions and intense involvement in her performance won the hearts of the viewers who showered applauses in interludes during the recital.

Veteran dancer Yashoda Thakur showcased Vilasini Natyam from Andhra Pradesh in which the attire is simple, but there are a gamut of expressions and movements.

Odissi dancer Rajashree Prahraj performed a 40-minute sequence of Sita Harana, which was originally choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and co-ordinated by Ratikanta Mohapatra.

The 22-year-old Pranamya Suri presented swift movements and her facial gestures transformed with ease during her different recitals.

There were also impressive performances rendered by Mohiniattam artiste Kalamandalam Nimmi and Manipuri dancer Debanjali Biswas on the second day of the three-day festival. (Source – The Telegraph)

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