Oddissi dance makes inroads in Tripura

Agartala, Dec. 31: Oddissi, one of the eight Indian classical dance forms, which originated in Orissa State, is now being initiated in Tripura.

A Kathak dancer of Padmabibhusan Kelucharan Mahapatra Gharana of Bubanaswas, has taken upon herself to popularise the Oddissi dance form through fusion in remote Tripura, a place where this dance form was practically unknown till recently.

Sarbani Nandi, an accomplished Kathak dancer from the Lucknow Gharana, holding a national scholarship, is popularizing the Oddissi dance form. She has given solo performances across the country and later acquired a degree in it. She gives fusion performances.

Rudrakshya, a renowned Oddissi group formed by Pandit Bichitranandan Swain and joined by a dozen of Oddissi dancers, recently gave a brilliant performance at the Oddissi Utsav here.

Sarbani Nandi, who relates mythological tales to the accompaniment of music, mime and dance, with her latest performance at the ''Oddissi Utsav'' in Agartala, enthralled a large number people of Tripura who converged here for the event.

She believes that there is a great deal of scope for the Oddissi dance form to gain popularity in Tripura. She has done her State proud on several occasions.

"Tripura is famous for varied cultures and is now taking to the Kathak dance form. It was my dream to perform Kathak here to make it popular, particularly, among the youth. So I have brought my Guruji from Bhubaneshwar for the dance festival," said Sarbani Nandi.

She is today an inspiration to all aspiring Oddissi dancers of her State.

People in the audience appreciated the Sarbani Nandi's dance performance during the Utsav.

"Today''s performance was marvellous. I have not seen such a programme earlier here. Credit goes to Sarbani, I know her right from her childhood. She is a dedicated dancer," said Hira Dey, a dance teacher by profession and a performer.

"She could do so well in a very short time because of her dedication. One thing I liked the best is that Sarbani is the lone girl performing here. She has shown that girls don't lag behind. Moreover, such programmes also encourage the new generation about our rich tradition", Dey added.

A member of the audience Sriti Sarkar, said: "Today we witnessed a totally new dance form over here. It is a unique performance and shall help us to understand the art in a new way. Technically also, it was rich as the team from Orissa was also there in the performance. We hope that Sarbani will become a big artist in the future. With here, our State shall also become famous."

Bichitranandan Swain, an Oddissi dancer, said: "We have enjoyed performing over here and, I think, in this manner we shall be able to spread this dance form here and keep it alive."

"I am very pleased that the people of Tripura and the Rudrakshya have made efforts to preserve classical dance. It''s an indication that classical dances are abiding," Pt. Swain added.

Oddissi is one of the most dynamic dance forms in the world. "

It is a classical dance form of Orissa and finds its origin in the temples. The rhythm, the Bhangis and Mudras used in Oddissi dance have a distinct quality.

Oddissi dance form deals largely with the love theme of Radha and Krishna. Traditionally, this dance form was kept alive by the Devdasis.

Devdasi used to perform the dance to the recitation of hymns and bols of Talas. But after Gitagovinda - dalliance between Radha and Krishna -- became a part of the rituals, the Devdasis performed the Oddissi marked by Abhinaya or acting with different Bhavas or gestures reflecting moods of Krishna and Radha. (ANI)