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Dramatic Odissi performance

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
By Vijay Shanker

As a part of the Sangeet and Nritya Yatra festival organised by Sharda Sangeet Vidyalaya, three accomplished male dancers were invited to perform at Nadabrahma Mandir in Bandra (East). The dancers were Odissi by Ankur Balal, Bharata Natyam by Nilesh Singha and Kathak by Ayan Banerjee.

One of the best male Odissi dancers from Mumbai, Ankur Balal, is the discple of renowned Odissi exponent Jhelum Paranjape and is also in the teaching faculty with Smitalay. Inspite of his unconventional style of appearance, Ankur is able to create an impression due to his  sincerity and involvement with the technique and presentation. Portraying the varied manifestations and glory of the Lord, Shivaopasana Mantra was a fine start to the performance.

Seeta Haran as the name suggests is the enaction of the story when Seeta was abducted by Ravana. Ankur succeeds in the depicting the various scenes, particularly the typical gait and jumps of the golden deer, the anxiety and plight of Seeta, Rama and Lakshmana and ultimately the appearance of Ravana. With choreography by Kelubabu and music by Raghunath Panigrahi, Seeta Haran was the piece-de-resistance of the evening. Ankur concluded with a powerful number on Devi sung by the great Lata Mangeshkar.

Nilesh Singha"s performance on the Shiva number was particularly impressive for the dramatisation of the episode of Markandeya who is saved by Lord Shiva when he is about to be snatched by Yamadeva, the devotion of Kanappan and his ultimate sacrifice and the Ganga avartanam.

The performance was enhanced due to the soulful vocal music rendering by Padmini Radhakrishnan. Undoubtedly Nilesh Singha holds the distinction of being among the best male dancers of Mumbai.

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