Speaking at Azad Bhavan, ICCR New Delhi noted art critic Mrs Leela Venkatraman said, over the last fifteen years INDRADHANUSH by New Delhi NGO, ALPANA has become a unique platform for inclusive arts where young dancers and musicians from across socio economic strata of society and across abilities perform before a discerning audience. She specially complimented the young Odissi danseuse from Kalyanpuri Basti. The special table players and dancers received standing ovation at the event.
Another uniqueness of INDRADHANUSH 2018 pointed out by Padmashree Guru Aruna Mohanty was regarding the dedication and professional competence of the classical singers and senior Odissi dance students of Guru Alpana Nayak which were evident in the event.
INDRADHANUSH 2018, the 15th annual event of Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (A.L.P.A.N.A.) was held at Azad Bhavan Auditorium, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi on 26 May 2018. A.L.P.A.N.A. was launched in 2004 as a registered Society in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. In a short span of its coming into being, A.L.P.A.N.A. has made significant contribution to its espoused cause of spreading awareness among today’s youth about the rich cultural heritage of India, especially Odissi Dance, Vocal and Instrumental Music.
INDRADHANUSH 2018 was a kaleidoscope of different dance and music items presented by the little wonders, budding classical dancers, senior disciples of Guru Smt Alpana Nayak and singers and Divyang students of A.L.P.A.N.A. As the rainbow with its vibrant colours fills the heart of the beholder with joy and pleasure, the artists mesmerized the audience with different varieties of dance and music. The event was designed to be a unique demonstration of the ‘will to succeed together’ where Divyang students and other students performed together on the same stage.
Ms Meera Swarup, Financial Adviser, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, Eminent Dance Critic and Kendriya Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee Mrs Leela Venkatraman and Odissi Exponent Padmashree Smt. Aruna Mohanty were the Distinguished Guests of the event. After the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the guests the performances started.
INDRADHANUSH 2018 started with a Durga Vandana “Jaya Jaya Japa Jaya.......” Next music presentations were Chhota Khayaal based on Chhayanat Raag and Teen Taal and a popular Hindi song “Tu ne payal hai chhankayi.....” Tabla students presented Teen Taal Uthaan, Kayada, Palta, Tihayi, Tukda, Gat and Farmaish Chakradaar Tukda and a fantastic Sawal Jawab with Divyang Drummers. The Distinguished Guests praised the efforts and hard work of Music Teacher Mrs. Saswati Chatterjee Tabla Teacher Mr. Subhash Chandra Behera.
The highlight of the evening cultural programme was a dance choreography based on “Ghoomar .......” from Hindi film Padmavat presented by the Divyaang and underprivileged students of A.L.P.A.N.A.
Beginner Odissi dancers along with Divyang students started the Odissi dance performances with ‘Mangalacharana’ followed by Guru Vandana in the Sanskrit shloka: "Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Gurur Deva Maheswara......."
Then budding Odissi dancers performed “Batu” which is a Nritta or pure dance. It depicts different sculptural postures of ancient temples of Orissa. This item is devoid of lyrics and hence there is no Bhava- Abhinaya or expression.
The next item is an Abhinaya based on an Oriya song, “Radha Rani Sange Nache Murali Pani......” This will be presented by our upcoming Odissi dancers. In this dance Holi festival celebrated by Lord Krishna and Radha along with other gopis will be depicted.
Then the senior disciples of Guru Smt Alpana Nayak presented “Nartaki” based on Acharya Nandikeshwar’s “Patra Laksanam – Characteristics of Dancer” from Abhinaya Darpana.
According to Abhinay Darpan a woman is considered a “Nartaki” if she possesses the following qualities: proper stature, charming, dun colored, with full-rounded breasts, self confident, playful, agreeable, expert in beginning and ending critical passages, skilled in chari movements, rhythm and laya, skilled in mandalas, expert in using hastas, various limbs or angarasa and sthanakas, graceful in handling karanas, has large eyes, able to follow the song being rendered along with instruments and tala, adorned with best jewels, and charming with lotus like face. Besides these Gunas (qualities) the treatise had also laid down ten inner aspects of the life of a dancer such as Swiftness, composure, symmetry, graceful execution of bhramaris, good looks, ease, intelligence or retentive faculty, devotion or concentration, well spoken and singing quality.
The next item was “Aarvi Pallavi”. The word “Pallavi” has been derived from the Sanskrit word pallava, which means the bud of a leaf, or the shoots of a tree which are very tender. As a small seed grows gradually into a large tree, in Pallavi, a tune is sung in a particular raga and it develops gradually into different varieties. In this item equal importance is given to dance as well as music and rhythm. The movements in this item are extremely graceful and lyrical.
The last item was ‘Ayi giri Nandini Nandita Medini……….’, a prayer to Goddess Durga. In this presentation different manifestations of Goddess such as Mahisha mardini, Vishwa Binodini, Vishnu Vilasini, Shaila Suta, Mother of whole Universe etc. were praised.
The entire choreography was by Guru Smt. Alpana Nayak and Music Compositions were by Sri Prasanta Behera & Sri Prafulla Mangaraj. Accompanying musicians were Sri Prashanta Behera (Vocalist), Sri Prafulla Mangaraj (Mardala), Sri Dhiraj Pandey (Flute) and Sri Lavinya Ambade (Sitar).
At the end the Distinguished Guests Ms Meera Swarup, Eminent Dance Critic and Kendriya Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee Mrs Leela Venkatraman and Odissi Exponent Padmashree Smt. Aruna Mohanty felicitated Guru Smt Alpana Nayak, other teachers and accompanying musicians with bouquet and distributed prizes to winning students.