After shifting to Gurgaon, Haryana, I benefited myself from one privilege which is not readily available in cities even like Chandigarh (leave aside the fact that I come from a very small town in Punjab)–attending recitals based on Indian classical art. Be it dance, music, or even theater–you won’t get these things in smaller towns. But lately, I happened to attend many of these at Epicentre Gurgaon.
This particular night I went to attend a dance recital by Vaishali Kala Kendra, Noida. It was an Odissi Dance recital, which I never attended before. I have seen a CD recording of one of the form of Odissi Dance called Gotipua but I never happened to see the classical form of Odissi Dance, which is also included in the 6 types of national dances recoganized in India.
The recital was directed by Mrs. Jyoti Srivastava who also happened to be the lead dancer in the recital. She was amply assisted by students who performed like professional artists having their own style and vigor to deliver what could not have been expected from them.
The concept of dance recital was based on Krishna and no wonder that the student and the Guru of that group performed up to the expectations. Some of the children were in their tender age but still they delivered the childlike pranks of Krishna quite beautifully and there was aesthetic delivery in their movements.
The dance was like an offering to the Guru of Vaishali Kala Kendra–Guru Shrinath Raut. The recital contained difference pieces based on bhajans by last Classical Sanskrit Poet Jayadeva and then there was a creation based on Dasavatar of Lord Vishnu.
What added to the charm was the live music played by expert musicians and the singing–if somebody dances on recorded music, it can’t give you the feeling that you get from live music. Incidently, I also happened to attend live performance of Pakhawaj for the first time. Often I had to make myself re-concentrate on dance because I was more attracted to Pakhawaj owing to the fact that I like it pretty much and used to play it at my home (had no knowledge of it though). When Pakhawaj is played, I can hardly concentrate on something else.
The chief guest of the night happened to be the owner of my company Mr. Pradeep Gupta, which sort of gave me a sense of belongingness to that night. Earlier I was called an idiot by somebody from my company to go and attend these sorts of concerts all alone–so, on that day, I felt accompanied.
During the recital, one of the senior girl had her head-flower-make-up fallen. This was a bit odd happening and I was curious as to how they will manage this situation. The girl kept dancing, which provided continuity and then suddenly a smaller girl came and picked it and took it back-stage. This child dancer at that time was not part of presentation and had done her bidding. What was noticeable that she came not walking but in the movements like if she is dancing. After that particular piece was over, the senior girl moved back-stage and had that headgear on. But the next sequence had already started without her and she had to make her way all along to the front row of dancers, which she actually did with much ease. This is where I felt that these students are not taken away by the enormity of the situation–they are used to it and they have immense stage confidence. Indeed, Mrs. Jyoti Srivastava has filled that confidence through continuous coaching and immaculate teaching of the art.
I met her son also–Anand, who was busy taking photographs. I told him that I was missing my camera which was at my place back home. I asked him that I want to write about this program and it would be very nice if he could provide me with some photographs, which Mrs. Jyoti Srivastava actually did and I am very happy to put them here.
At the end, I should say that this was one of the best nights that I would have spent enjoying some form of classical art of India. I just loved it and wish that I might have the chance to attend many of them in future. Thanks Vaishali group for making it such a beautiful evening!
Names of Dancers
Smt. Jyoti Srivastava
Names of Musicians and Accompanists
Prashant Behra–Lead Singer
Mrs. Tapati Mukherjee (Guest Singer)
Prafulla Mangeraj–Mardal (Pakhawaj)
Sanjay Sinha–Program Coordinator/Text Editor/Auditorium Management