Buddhist Jatakmala and Panchatantra evoke the contemporary spirit in dance

Orissa Diary, June 11, 2012

Bhubaneswar, India -- The Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy organised a 3-day long contemporary dance festival at Bhubaneswar with colour and grandeur. Being organised for the first time this festival awakened curosity and excitement among the art connoisseur of the city who thronged to see something of different taste both in terms of dance as well as presentation.

The first presentation of the evening was Hansha Balaka, skillfully displaying the various gaits and movements of Swain followed by acrobatic gestures entiled Street Dance Ragavali depicting the nationalist element through the colourful display of Indian national flag with Ashoka Chakra choreographed by his illustrious father Narendra Sharma sensitized the patriotic spirit of the audiences. It is punctuated with movement with imagined charecterstics of each colour and the centrality of chakra in the flag’s formulation.

This is followed by Jatakmala i.e. tales of Buddhist expound on wisdom and vagaries of life through a series of naratives. These tales emanated issues of times i.e. ecology, human releations, wisdom stories and historical record of its time. Choreographed by Bharat Sharma this episode depicts images of animal world, power, conflicts, enviornment, relationship, dreams and abstract concepts using props, colour schema and different designs through gestures and movements.

The second item of the evening was by Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant a noted danseuse and choreographer who chose to present with five interesting episodes from the popular compedium “Panchatantra” using the grammer and idiom of classical dance. She effortlessly bridges traditional strcutures with contemporary inputs.

Her group performance on Panchatantra sends message of friendship, bravery, leadership  and freedom through parable and allegory of popular tales of Panchatantra showcasing the stories of monkey and crocodile, lion and rabit, swain and tortoise, monkey. Laced with humour and satire, elegantly blend of tradition with contemporary and beautifully combined with a rich movement of vocabulary and grammer the production of Padamshree Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant took the audience to a different world of kaleiodoscopic designs of colour rhythm and imagery.

Both Bharat Sharam and Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant enthralled the art lovers of the city by their superb choreographic presentation of music, dance and rhythm synchronized with proper costumes, props and light effects.