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Taking classical dance to the grassroots

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
By Vijay Shanker

The Nritya Kalanjali Insitute of Fine Arts (Ambernath), with support from the Department of Language and Culture, Government of Telangana, presented the 10th Samarpanam program with a Bharatanatyam and Ramayana dance ballet at the Ravindra Natya Mandir Auditorium last Sunday. It was exciting for the children to perform and for the parents to witness their performance on a public platform.

The Nritya Kalanjali Insttute has been established by Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi exponent Ramesh Koli, who is a disciple of renowned Bhratanatyam exponent Dr Sandhya Purecha. Every year, as an ardent disciple, he organises this program as a mark of tribute to his mentors. It was interesting to watch little children performing the basic steps 'adavus'. Some of them were nervous too and would be disturbed looking at the audience. In today's world of Western culture and lifestyle, it is creditable on behalf of Ramesh as he is trying to reach out to children and youth through the medium of classical dance.

Besides the traditional dances like the invocation, and other dances like the sabdam and the padam, Ramesh was in a devotional mood in the Marathi 'abhang' penned by Saint poets like Gyaneshwar, Tukaram and Namdev in praise of Lord Vitthala.

The highlight performance of the day was the enaction of Tulsidas Ramayana. With 'Ekaharya abhinaya' of donning different roles, it was interesting as to how Ramesh would change, according to the scene anticipated. With the participation of several children, beautiful and appropriate visuals varied scenes like – Sita Swayamavaram, the golden deer, Ravana's abduction, Rama's exile, victory over Ravana and ultimately Rama's attaining the throne – had a dramatic impact on the audience. Ramesh also released a book on dance on this occasion.

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