Grace marks subtle dance style
Prateesha showed tremendous restraint in achieving the elegance of Saatriya.
SERENE: Prateesha Suresh. Photo: S. Thanthoni.
The welcoming strains of the arathi hymn, `Om Jai Jagadeesh Hare,' infused a sense of piety in the auditorium, quite appropriate for the staging of the bhakthi-dominated Sattriya Nritya. Sattriya originated in the monasteries of Assam, where Vaishnav monks conveyed tales from the legends of Lord Vishnu through song and dance. It was awarded the status of a classical dance style by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2000.
No spill over
Prateesha Suresh is a Sattriya dancer from Assam. Though she is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, having studied at Kalakshetra, there is no spill over of Bharatanatyam's angularities onto this gentle style.
Actually, Prateesha's grace and serenity help to showcase the slow, unhurried movements of Sattriya Nritya better. It is apparent that she applies tremendous restraint and control of the body to achieve such delicateness.
The dance style is subtle and understated. The expressive portions are less stylised and offer real life imagery, most often, of the divine child Krishna and His mother Yasoda. Whether she was the indulgent mother readying Krishna in the item taken from a borgeet and an Ankiya Naat, or whether she was an irate mother or a deceiving son in `Jadava na jayo,' the Prateesha's fluidity was tinged with an innocence that suited this mother-child theme. The pure dance pieces comprising gently rounded arms, light-footed movements and twirls in half-seated stances are visually aesthetic, but are not created to dazzle. `Jhumura Nritya' set to Ek taal and Suta Taal, was a reworked original, where the nritta accompanied by percussion instruments, was demanding with the frequent fully-seated postures. But it was in the concluding Dasavataar that the artists seemed to perk up, creating the most dramatic moments of the evening.
The learned orchestra consisting Haricharan Bhuyan Barbayan, khol, Diganta Das, vocal, Bhupen Rajbongshi, flute, and Kamalakanta Bhuyan Barbayan, taal and negera, seemed to have saved the best for the last.
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