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Dancing in the rain

Tuesday, August 05, 2014
By Vijay Shanker

Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts presented the 24th Raindrops dance festival in association with Bhavan's Cultural Centre at their auditorium in Andheri. It was thrilling to watch young talented dancers trying to do their best in varied classical dance styles.

The two day festival featured six dancers – Shweta Prachande and Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala for Bharata Natyam, Gauri Sharma Tripathi and Preeti Sharma for Kathak, Mitali Raul for Odissi, and Payal Ramchandani for Kuchipudi. This festival is organised every year during the monsoon by accomplished Kathak exponent Uma Dogra. It is a daring venture to organise the festival during the slack monsoon season. The best dancer of the festival was Shweta Prachande, her "joie-de-vivre" style of performing was evident in all the items commencing with the Mallari and concluding the Balamauralikrishna Thillana. The number 'Indendu Vachichitivira' was noteworthy for its natural expressional quality Shweta is privileged to seek guidance from the veteran exponent Pridarshini Govind.

Mitali Raul's Odissi was pleasing to quite an extent, particularly the Khamaj Pallavi, pertaining to typical characteristic movements of the Odissi style, danced to fine melody and rhythm. One can expect better expressional quality in the Oriya number Mitali is the disciple of accomplished: exponent Jhelum Paranjape. Payal Ramchandani, disciple of Padmashri Guru Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao rendered an exquisite Kuchipudi recital, noteworthy for its typical movements and natural flair for 'abhinaya' which was evident in the 'Javali Samay Idi Ra Ra'. Payal was impressive in the rhythmic patterns in the rim of the brass plate in the Tarangam, an extract from Srimad Narayana.

While Gauri Sharma Tripathi's was impressive and dramatic in the theatrical interpretation of the Daksha Yagna wherein Lord Shiva is not invited and Parvati indulges in self-immolation due to embarassment. Preeti Sharma's kathak was pleasing for its stylistic quality but her expressional number did not take over beyond a point. The last dancer of the festival Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala's performance was noteworthy for the sincere quality of technique and command over the Bharata Natyam style which was evident in the Nartana Ganapati and the interpretation of the goddess Kamakshi. Parvathi is a reputed mentor based in Chennai. On the whole it was a lively festival befitting the monsoon.

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