27 Sep 2013, Amritavarhsm60
Odisha has left everyone here at Amritapuri absolutely amazed as there were different styles, types and forms of Odissi dance showcased here over the last few days! And yet again a fascinating performance by Guru Bichitrananda Swain and his group of dancers brought bliss to everyone’s hearts!
Director of the leading dance institution, Rudrakash, Guru Bichitrananda Swain has emerged as one of the foremost gurus of Odissi. An exceptional performer and instructor, he has trained under the stalwarts of Odissi – Gurus Kelucharan Mohapatra, Ramaniranjan Jena, Gangadhar Pradhan and Sanjukta Panigrahi. One of the leading choreographers in the new generation of Odissi, he founded and nurtured the Rudraksh Foundation to promote a wider acceptance of the male aesthetic in what is a predominantly female dance form. Today, Rudraksh is one of the important dance institutions catering to international sensibilities but also rooted firmly in the traditions established by the founding fathers of Odissi.
Bichitrananda composes dance movements and training modules differently for the male and female dancers. Since the male dancers perform in bare body, he warns them to keep their body in proper shape. He has observed that women are more suitable for Odissi’s exclusive postures. But male dancers have a stronger body and footwork that meets the demand of some exclusive characters and movements as well. However, he feels it is easier to train a girl than a boy as in the case of the latter, the body takes longer time to be tuned. Today’s stellar performance by the group exhibits the sheer skill and talent of Bichitrananda in training his students.
The dance staged by 8 male dancers was amazing! The body movements and eye expressions were remarkable! With females having an upper hand in classical dance today, the dance was an answer to any prejudice against male dancers. The exquisite masculine grace and the slow well executed movements caught attention of devotees and the dedication and perfection of dancers kept eyes glued to the stage!
The worship to Goddess Maha Kali was an ideal offering to The Universal Mother, our Kali Maa, Our beloved Amma, on this auspicious day! Two female dancers joined the male dancers to make it even more captivating. The Kali formation filled our hearts with bliss! Seeing Kali in Chamundi, Bhadra Kali and Maha Kali roopas was miraculous. The shraddha and bhakti bhava in each of their movements and expressions was evident!
With a high aesthetic quotient, the show portrayed both talent and devotion!
– Varsha Suresh Kumar