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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Sattriya Nritya, a rare dance on stage

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 19, 2013
First Published: 13:11 IST(19/3/2013) | Last Updated: 17:35 IST(19/3/2013)

Of late, the city has been witnessing a number of performances on various unconventional dance forms from India. Here’s another one that might appeal to dance enthusiasts. A performance in the city will stage Sattriya Nritya — an Assamese art form, which, in spite of being one of the eight classical dance traditions of India, has rarely got its due, unlike its popular counterparts such as Bharatanatayam or Mohiniattam.

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The recital will be led by Prateesha Suresh, who will pay tribute to Shankardev, the founder of Sattriya.

The event will be held on March 30. The dance derives its name from the word ‘sattras’, which are monasteries in Assam.

The performance will string together mythological stories, which have traditionally been the core of this dance. “It was envisioned and structured by Shrimanta Shankardev, a saint, in the 15th century. It originated as part of the bigger canvas that included one-act plays, bhajans and community singing,” explains Suresh, adding, “The aim behind this tradition is the unification of different socio-economic classes.”

You can also look forward to catching other dance forms at the event. “Besides me, three other dancers, Mandakini Trivedi (Mohiniattam), Jhelum Paranjpe (Odissi) and Anusree Bonnerjee (Bharatanatyam) will present their genres. They will perform to compositions by Shankardev and Madhavdev (Shankardev’s disciple) from their dance drama, Ankiya Naat. It will display the four Bhakti rasas — Vatsalya, Madhurya, Saakhya and Daasya,” says Prateesha.

Talking about the present state of Sattriya, she says, “Very rarely do I get a platform to showcase this art. More work in terms of choreography, and textual, historical and comparative studies is required for this genre.”

Insight into Sattriya
Originated in Assam.
Founded by Shrimanta Shankardev, a saint in the 15th century.
Originated as a part of Ankiya Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays).
Is accompanied by musical compositions called borgeets, which are based on classical ragas.
The instruments used for the dance form are khols (drums), taals (cymbals), flute, violin and harmonium.
The costumes are made of pat, a type of silk produced in Assam. The ornaments have traditional Assamese designs.

The event will take place on March 30 at YB Chavan auditorium, Nariman Point, from 7 pm onwards. Entry is free.


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