Aroma of classic Odissi- A fitting tribute to the divine dance form
A traditional performance resembles the movement of a devotee entering the Temple. It starts with Mangala Charana – A customary invocation, offering prayers of gratitude to the Earth, the Divine and one’s teachers, and welcoming the audience. Setting the spiritual tone for the rest of the evening, much like entering through the gateways of the Temple.
The Mangalacharan is based on the poem by Poet Kalidasa, "Manikya Veena" an invocation to Goddess Saraswati. (12 minutes)
Pallavi. (12 minutes)
As the audience / the devotee is gradually transformed by the grace and beauty, it is being prepared for the presentation of Abhinaya – the expression of deep sentiments and emotions. The essence of life and human nature is being portrayed through the telling of stories, usually from Hindu mythology, although other stories can be portrayed as well. Krishna and his affairs with the Gopis, and his divine love story with Radha is the theme of the majority of Odissi Abhinayas. Kali, Durga, Shiva, and others are depicted as well. These category of dance often form the largest part of an Odissi performance, and these are usually longer dance pieces that involve intricate theatrical expressions.
The Abhinaya pieces presented will be:
Kuru Yadu Nandana
Jayadeva's final ashtapadi from his book The Gita Govinda. This is a love song Radha sings to Krishna after a night of love making. Radha finds her clothes and make up in disarray and charmingly commands that her lover Krishna set them right for her. Here Radha is a Svadhinabhartruka Nayika, a heroine who has her lover under total submission.
Ahe Nila Sahilo- 'Oh Blue Mountain"
This poem is written by a Muslim poet- Salabaiga. Salabaig was a great disciple of Lord Jagganatha. Being a Muslim he was not allowed into the Puri temple. But legend has it that once during the Ratha Yatra the chariot of Lord Jagganath could not be moved, until they invited Salabaig to the temple.
Salbaiga during his lifetimes suffered many sorrows and was even afflicted with leprosy. In this song he prays- O Blue Mountain, like a mighty elephant can crush and destroy an entire garden of flowers, take my sorrows and my doubts and crush them. It was you who rescued Gajendra- the elephant, it was you who protected Draupadi, it was you who saved Prahalada- won’t you come and help me now?
About Ashwini Raghupathy
9, Jakkur Road, Jakkur, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560064