Nakshatra dance festival in Mumbai: Watch poetry in motion, folk with classical from Friday
The NCPA is offering a very different line-up at this year’s Nakshatra dance festival.
“This edition is special because, alongside classical forms such as Odissi and Kathak, there will be folk dance for the first time,” says Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, head of dance programming at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Poetry will be reinterpreted via folk forms from across the country; folk will accompany classical.
Keep an eye out for Samagam, a celebration of the six seasons as described in the poet Kalidasa’s Ritusamhara, a mini-epic poem written in six cantos.
Samagam will be presented by students of Daksha Mashruwala’s Odissi institute, Kaishiki, with parallel interpretations by the folk-dance group Kalanjay.
“All classical forms emerged out of folk forms, so it is only fitting that they share the stage,” Mashruwala says.
A range of folk forms will be represented in this series of performances, including Dangi from western India, Tera Tali from Rajasthan, Sikkim’s Baramasee Ghantu, the Hojagiri tradition of Tripura and Baredi from Madhya Pradesh.
Each set will begin with a short commentary in English, on both the Odissi and folk narratives.
The Odisha folk forms of Gotipua, Sambalpuri and Chhau will also be on display, with performances by students of Aruna Mohanty’s Odissi Dance Academy. These will be accompanied by a visual slideshow showcasing that region’s rich cultural heritage.
Kumudini Lakhia will present Movements and Stills, a performance that will honour the vachika abhinaya or the spoken tradition, with the dancers also serving as vocalists for one act.
The festival will also include performances by Kathak exponent Parwati Dutta and Bharatnatyam exponent Chitra Visweswaran.
“Classical dance traditionally depicts Indian epics, but I have always been interested in exploring it as an independent art form,” Lakhia says. “I want to present Kathak for Kathak’s sake.”
The ninth edition of Nakshatra is being held at the NCPA, Nariman Point, from Friday through Sunday. Tickets are available online.