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Celebrating Indian dance

SHYAMHARI CHAKRA

The annual festival of dance and music provided a platform for young and upcoming talents.



Cynosure of all eyes Prateekshya Kashi.

Into its fifth edition, Naveen Kalakar - the annual festival of young Indian dancers and musicians being hosted in Bhubaneswar - showcased 80 artistes from across India and a few from abroad representing all Indian classical dance styles, barring Kathakali, apart from Hindustani music - both vocal and instrumental - and Odissi music this year.

Designed after the six decade old Kal ke Kalakar festival of Mumbai, the artistes - aged between 18 and 30 - who secure 70 per cent marks from the jury of dance and music exponents would be conferred the titles of Nruthya Jyoti and Sangeeth Jyoti.

The recently concluded four-day festival that had 62 dancers offered an opportunity to some of the future faces of Indian classical dances.

Being Odisha's own dance form, , Odissi obviously had the largest number of participants in the festival. However, it was the small contingent of Kuchipudi, that won over the audience and the jury alike. While Prateekshya Kashi, daughter and disciple of Bengaluru-based Kuchipudi exponent Vyjayanti Kashi, emerged as the festival topper by scoring the highest marks, Akademi awardee Kashi's two other disciples - Guru Raj and Hithaishy Dhanan - also put up impressive performances.

Maalyada Anand from Visakhapatnam, disciple and daughter-in-law of well-known Kuchipudi Guru Bala Kondala Rao, was another pleasant discovery at the festival.

Similarly, a small contingent of Bharatanatyam dancers also made their mark on the audience. The tall, handsome and mature male dancer Kiran Rajgopalan from Chennai was the best amongst them. And 21-year-old Sathvikaa Shankar, the other dancer from Chennai, was also quite mature in her pure and expressional dance recitals.

The other dancers who made an impression were Archana Raja and Suvasini Kanan (both from Chennai); Ritwika Ghosh (Kolkata) and Radhika Pravu (Bengaluru). The lone Mohiniattam artiste in the festival, Shruthi KP from Bengaluru staged a very neat and impressive recital.

Manipuri dancer Sinam Basu Singh from Imphal, one of the three brilliant male dancers that the festival featured - Kiran Rajgopalan and Guru Raj being the other two - could safely claimto be as the future face of Manipuri who can mesmerize the audience with his grace and spontaneity.

Kathak and Sattriya had representation of some potential dancers but none could leave a mark as an outstanding artiste.

Of the largest number of Odissi dancers that the festival featured, Maria from Peru (USA) emerged as the brightest performer in Odissi segment.

Among others who left a lasting impression were Lopamudra Jena (from Cuttack), Swaati Sarma (New Delhi), Rajashree Biswas (Kolkata) and Dibysahree Panda (Bhubaneswar).

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