HTKGAF 2018: Mumbaiites, sway along to the different beats | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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HTKGAF 2018: Mumbaiites, sway along to the different beats

A multicultural extravaganza unfolded before the crowds in Mumbai, with back-to-back performances of diverse, Indian classical dance forms

mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2018 23:21 IST
Krutika Behrawala
Mitali Dsouza performing at Cross Maidan on Saturday.
Mitali Dsouza performing at Cross Maidan on Saturday.(Aalok Soni/HT)

The setting sun, a light breeze and the audience entranced by a pair of ghungroos and the beat of a tabla — that was the magic of Richa Gupta’s Kathak performance at Cross Maidan on Saturday.

“I had goosebumps when she depicted a galloping horse,” says Sneha Rathore, 18, a student from Borivli.

“I had heard it’s tough to capture the audience’s attention in Mumbai. So, I’m glad I managed to do that,” said Gupta, who had flown down from Delhi earlier in the day to make her debut at the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

Representing the Jaipur gharana (school) of Kathak, she enthralled the audience with graceful twirls and stellar footwork. “Veer ras [heroism] forms the essence of facial expressions and movements in this school of Kathak. For instance, we look in the eyes of the audience when taking a turn, while a dancer of the Lucknow gharana may twirl with her eyes on the ground,” she explained.

Through the evening, a multicultural extravaganza unfolded before the crowds, with back-to-back performances of diverse, Indian classical dance forms.

Mumbai couple Mitali and Raul Dsouza performed a riveting duet of Odissi and Bharatanatyam. Their piece was titled Samagam (communion or coming together). Mitali’s short and crisp Odissi gestures complemented Raul’s sweeping moves. Their performance was interspersed with an Odissi piece by their 12-year-old daughter, Risa.

Crowds were also treated to a Manipuri dance performance by Sudip Kumar Ghosh and troupe, who had travelled all the way from Kolkata. While Kumar was dressed as Krishna, with pleated dhoti and crown of peacock feathers, the women dancers in the group wore exquisite Kumil costumes, characterised by embellished barrel-shaped skirts.

“These costumes cost roughly Rs20,000 and they aren’t easily available. Our aim is to spread awareness about the beauty of this dance form throughout India,” said Ghosh, who made his debut at the festival.

“In Mumbai, it is difficult to find open-air performances of Indian classical dances,” said Archisha Das, 22, a college student from Marine Lines. “So this evening was a treat.”