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Kathak and Hindustani Students Display Talent at Annual Recital

June 2007
Kathak and Hindustani Students Display Talent at Annual Recital

The 2007 Nritya Natya Kala Bharthi recital was held at the venerable Rialto Center for Arts at Georgia State's campus on Sunday May 20th. Kumud Savla's Kathak students as well as Sandeep Savla's Hindustani disciples took the audience through a captivating journey as they portrayed the ‘nav raas' (nine emotions). Viren Mayani and Parijat Chandra graciously emceed the evening adding intricate details before each segment to keep the audience engaged.

Opening the program was an invocation piece gently performed by the talented flautists of the academy. The first half of the recital embarked upon the classical aspects of music and dance. The opening rasa, titled, Shanta Rass, was designed to invoke the emotion of peace. Some of the young achievers from the academy danced to Raghupathi Raghav, Mangal Mandir, Jai Raghu Nandan and Om Shanti. One of the more powerful emotions, love, was the theme for the next Shringara rasa, which was followed by Hasya rasa to exemplify joy.

The deep talent of the musicians was reflected in their use of a wide variety of western instruments as well as eastern instruments including the tabla, xylophone and percussion. The entire ensemble performed with finesse as the vocalists beautifully rendered classical Hindustani tunes for the dancers who also performed to the kathak incantations by their guru, Kumud Savla. Viren introduced the next segment using his name as an example to show courage or ‘Veera' rasa. This was performed by Salman Molu, Prem Rahman, Rahim Humma and Manish Khokrale.

Some of the senior dancers of the academy performed Drauhphadhi Vastra Haran in the next rasa about disgust, Vibhatsa rasa. The dancers exhibited their grace as they had to coordinate with each other in terms of stage formations, eye movements and expressions to personify the emotions they were portraying.

Thare Bin Lage Nahin and Teray Bina (Guru) represented the element of sadness in the next segment: Karuna rasa. Several senior disciples in music including Alamgir, Azim Khan, Jayur Patel, Dexter Ragunanan, Darshak Thacker, Yashwant Panchal and Apurva Shrivastava displayed their talent with euphonious instrumentation. Some of the school's senior students including Pankaj Bhargava and Sima Modi mellifluously rendered the vocals for the evening adding alaap to the pieces. In ‘Bhayanaka' rasa, fear was the theme used to depict the terror. This was followed by one of the most pesky and widespread emotion, that of anger in Raudra rasa with the piece titled Tandav.

A dramatic fusion piece was beautifully presented by the advanced dancers of the recital, who were dressed in elegant green and magenta outfits, as they personified ajooba or wonder in Adbhuta rasa. This led to the finale for the first half of the evening as the classical pieces came to an end. After a brief intermission, with food provided by Patel Brothers, the second half of the evening was introduced.

The second half of the program showcased modern Bollywood dances laced against fusion pieces with contemporary steps. The ornate outfits displayed by each of the dance groups filled the audience with zest during this segment. Old Bollywood tunes by Mukesh were brought back alive with young talented artists in a truly colorful display. The schools students display was remarkable as each piece was executed flawlessly from the young students to the advanced dancers. Their hard work and dedication was manifested through the sheer number of items in this half of the program. Some of the pieces in this segment included songs from recent Hindi movies including Dil Vich Lagya Ve and Ghoomer Re (Chup Chup Ke) and Chaand Sifarish (Fanah).

One of the many noteworthy pieces in this segment included the rendition of Barso Re (Guru), which drew a thunderous applause from the audience. The senior dancers dressed in maroon and beige outfits gorgeously performed to Salaam (Umrao Jaan). As the evening drew to a close, to wrap up the segment titled Drishti or perception, all of the dancers of the academy assembled on stage to the song Des Rangila (Fanah).

The Nritya Natya Kala Bharthi academy was praised for carefully choosing outfits that not only suited each of the songs but also looked very majestic on stage, leading to a grandiose finale. Despite some of the technical difficulties for the sound system, the artists carried themselves well and perform to their best abilities. The recital was unique as it captured artists from both genres of music and dance coming together in a spectacular ensemble through the live orchestration.

- Archith Seshadri

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