BHOOMI PRANAM 2020- an evening of Odissi Dance was organised by Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (A.L.P.A.N.A.) at CD Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi on 21 March 2021. Spite of COVID 19 PANDEMIC, A.L.P.A.N.A. organised this event in accordance with all Government Guidelines. Guru Smt Alpana Nayak along with her very talented senior disciples presented new choreographies in pure Odissi style.
Shri Rajesh Verma, IAS, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs was the Chief Guest and Dr. U. S. Awasthi, MD, IFFCO was the Distinguished Guest of the evening. After the lighting of ceremonial lamp by the guests the performances started.
Traditionally an Odissi dance recital starts with Mangalacharana, where the dancers dedicate themselves to the Almighty and beg forgiveness from Mother Earth for stamping feet on her, beg apology from the audience of any shortcomings and pay obeisance and seek blessings from their Guru. In Mangalacharana, the dancers of the evening began with a prayer to Goddess Saraswati based on the Sanskrit shloka “Yaa kundendu tushaara haara dhabalaa.....” followed by an Odia song “Ayile Maa Saraswati……...” Prapti Gupta, Pihu Shrivastava, Disha Kannan, Yastika Dhawan and Nerissa Rout presented Mangalacharan whose Choreography of was done by Guru Smt. Alpana Nayak and music composition was by Shri Prasanta Behera and Shri Prafulla Mangaraj.
Then Disha Kannan, Yastika Dhawan, Shreysha and Nerissa Rout presented Saabhinaya Pallavi - a Pallavi based on raga Kalabati followed by an odia abhinaya “Sangini re chahan Benu pani ki….…”written by 18th century Odia poet Bhakta Kabi Shri Banamali Das. In this song Radha and other Gopies were describing the celestial beauty of Lord Krishna and his grace and style. Choreography of this item was done by Legendary Guru Shri Deba Prasad Das in 1975 when Guru Smt. Alpana Nayak, a budding Odissi dancer then presented this at Balasore, odissa solo.
The next presentation was Bajrakanti Pallavi by Prapti Gupta and Pihu Shrivastava. 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. Choreography of Bajrakanti Pallavi was by Late Guru Shri Hare Krushna Behera & Guru Smt. Alpana Nayak and Music Composition was by Guru Shri Ramahari Das.
The next performance was by Guru Smt Alpana Nayak. She presented an Odia Abhinaya depicting two different Nayikas - Virohatkanthita Naayika and Khanditaa Naayika from the epics of Kavi Samrat Upendra Bhanja, the great Oriya Poet of sixteenth century.
Naayika waited for her lover to come but he did not come. Troubled by the absence of her lover, “Virohatkanthita Naayika” asks her friend “What am I being punished for? Why is it that my lover has fallen for another enchanting woman? Why is it that he has forgotten me? O sakhi! This beautifully decorated bower holds no meaning without him. The light of the lamp which I had lighted for him, hurts my eyes, it pains me. O my friend, my sakhi, you tell me, what should I do? Where should I go?”
With the first rays of the morning sun upon seeing her lover, her joys know no bounds. But then as her eyes fall on the nail marks left by another woman on his body, she is consumed with rage. “Khanditaa Naayika” depicts the woman who wishes no relationship with her lover. She makes up her mind that she will never forgive him for this shameful act of infidelity. She says: “You traitor go back to the woman who pleased you last night. Go back for I cannot bear to look at the marks she has left on your body. I do not wish to see these. Go from here. Go away……………….” Choreography of this presentation was by Guru Smt. Alpana Nayak and Music Composition was by Shri Prasanta Behera & Shri Prafulla Mangaraj.
Last item of the evening was ‘Nava Durga’, a prayer to Goddess Durga presented by Prapti Gupta, Pihu Shrivastava, Disha Kannan, Yastika Dhawan, Shreysha and Nerissa Rout. In this presentation nine manifestations of the Goddess such as Bana Durga, Maha Durga, Giri Durga, Jaya Durga, Shuli Durga, Mahisha Mardini, Shakti Durga and Ghoro Durga are praised. Choreographer of this dance was Late Guru Shri Gangadhara Pradhan.
The accompanying Musicians were Shri Prasanta Behera, Vocalist, Shri Prafulla Mangaraj on Mardala, Shri Dhiraj Pandey on Flute and Shri Gopinath Swain on Violin.
At the end of all performances Shri Rajesh Verma, the Chief Guest and Dr. U. S. Awasthi, MD, IFFCO, the Distinguished Guest of the evening praised Guru Smt Alpana Nayak for brilliant choreographies and excellent presentation. Dr. Awasthi also hailed the role of the brilliant musicians to make the performances so beautiful. Shri Verma wished best of luck for the bright future of the upcoming and very talented dancers as accomplished Odissi dancers.
A.L.P.A.N.A. is a registered organisation under the Societies Registration Act 1860 since 2003. The Society aims at promotion of performing arts and working towards equitable human development and growth. The emphasis is on inclusive growth and composite cultural heritage.