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Bharatanatyam and Kathak Dominate Young Dancers Festival

Wednesday, February 07, 2018
By Veejay Shankara

Nalanda Young Dancers Festival known as 'Nalanda Nrityotsava' was held at Kalangan by P L Deshpande's  academy. It was organised by the Nalanda Dance Research Centre and was held at Kalangan for five days, at Prabhadevi for four days and at Nalanda’s Kanaka Sabha in Juhu on the last day.

The festival was a grand success with most of the dancers performing well, making it difficult to judge the candidate for the 'Nritya Nipuna' title. On the first day founder-director of Nalanda, the renowned 'Mohiniattam' exponent and dance educationist, 'Padmabhushan' Dr Kanak Rele said, “It is becoming increasingly difficult to organise the festival, as the funds are scarce but the initiative is to provide a platform to young talent as these occasions are quite few”.

Bharatanatyam and Kathak dominated the festival and surprisingly there were enough number of male dancers too and all of them did well. The dancers who performed in the festival were Isha Kathavate, Aparna Ramakrishnan, Swapnil Panchal, Arjun Rakesh, Priyanka Srikrishnan, Aswin Sidhaarth, Vrinda Chadha, Laxmi Narayan Jena, Swetha Venkatesh, Snigdha Menon, Nidhang Karunad, Minu Garu, Anita Murthy, Suhani Dhanki, Nikita Sant, Sahana Maiya, Harshada Jambekar, Amit Dole, Mithila Padhya, Pranali Kalyankar, Pallavi Lele and Madhura Pavaskar.

Three dancers from the famed Kalakshetra regaled the audience with their clarity and precise execution of movements and pleasing expressions, they were Aparna Ramakrishnan, and the twins Arjun Rakesh and Ashwin Sidhaarth. Other male dancers were Swapnil Panchal, Laxmi Narayan Jena, Nidhaang Karunad and Amit Dole. Swapnil is the disciple of Ankur Balal and accomplished Odissi exponent Jhelum Pranjape, his sincere effort coupled with elegant execution of movements in the Arbhi Pallavi was remarkable. While Laxmi impressed the audience with his lively and rhythmic exposition of the Shiva number, Nidhaang Karunad enthralled the audience with the Shiva number with his powerful portrayal. Amit Dole, the only Kuchipudi dancer of the festival is the disciple of Guru Rathessh Babu, the precise execution on the rim of the brass plate, left a lasting impression on the audience.

Swetha Venkatesh, disciple and daughter of Dr Suparna Venaktesh of Sai Arts International of Bangalore, was the most impressive performer of the festival.

Her personality blended well with the exposition of the universal mother and goddess, making the number an elevating experience. The soulful music still resonates in my ears.

Vrinda Chadha’s, whose Odissi performance was inspiring and remarkable for the poise and elegance, is the disciple of Padmashri Ranjana Gauhar. Snigdha Menon’s subtle rendering, Anita Murthy’s divine quality, Suhani Dhanki’s charm, Pranali’s lively quality in the Javali and Bagesri Thillana created a fine impression. Mithila Padhya’s expressions and elegant movements in the Mohiniattam style was pleasing. Nikita’s rhythmic quality of Kathak added lustre to the entire festival.

While Subash Chandran presented the vote of thanks. Dr Uma Rele, principal of Nalanda Nritya Kalamahavidyalaya, thanked the students and dancers for making the festival a grand success.

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