Musical odyssey to chronicle Odissi’s evolution on Feb 2
New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) A unique event based on the concept of evolution of choreography in Odissi dance form since 1961 to 2017 is all set to be unveiled in the national capital on February 2.
“Tantu”, the show, has been conceived with an inspiration from the major architect of Odissi, Kelucharan Mohapatra, the Padmavibhusan honouree who is credited for the revival of the classical dance form in the 20th century.
It will showcase choreographies belonging to different generations and eras: How Odissi developed in the 1950s, was refined by the 1990s, and continues to evolve in the current century.
The show will be held at the India International Centre here.
According to Odissi gurus Sharon Lowen, Madhavi Mudgal and the performer of the evening, Madhur Gupta, having broken the shackles of anonymity in the last century, Odissi today is the oldest surviving classical dance form of the Indian subcontinent.
“Odissi dance is a neo-classical dance form. During the British era, all the dance forms vanished because the Britishers didn’t want Indians to know their own art forms. After the Independence, Odissi stood out among the dances that were prevelant in temple performances,” Madhur Gupta told IANS.
During the 1950s, Odissi witnessed a period of renaissance and reconstruction, and Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was one of the main architects this art form.
“Guru Kelucharan took different elements from regional folk dances and then created this entire genre of Odissi that is very classical and very stylised,” Gupta said.
He added that approaches towards Odissi might differ with generations, but its parameters remain deeply rooted in the traditional approach.
“Guru Kelucharan’s concept of the woman’s body language and behaviour is very different from the next generation of gurus — Sharon Lowen and Madhavi Mudgal,” he said. “They incorporated the modern sensibility. Everybody tends to have a different mannerism, when they embrace a dance form.”
“Every dance changes with time, but it is deeply rooted in tradition and the representation of three generations is the theme of the show,” he explained.
This production will also explore the challenges of not only showcasing the traditional in a contemporary vision, but also carrying forward the baton by the new generation.