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The artistes luminously showcase navarasa based on several Tagore compositions at the event. Photo: Mumit M.
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As part of the ongoing joint celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore by India and Bangladesh, Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka organised an evening of “Gaudiya NrityaSakal Raser Dhara”, at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on March 23.

Choreographed and directed by renowned Indian dancer Dr. Mahua Mukherjee, artistes of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, presented the dance recital.

Gaudiya Nritya, a classical dance-form of Bengal, is a composite art-form enriched with drama, poetry, colours and rhythm based on sculptures, literatures, scriptures, Guru-shishya parampara dance traditions and historical evidence.

With its roots in Natyasastra, the evolution of Gaudiya Nritya can be traced to the tradition of dance forms existing in Gauda Banga. Gaudiya Nritya, also a temple art at the outset, is a form of spiritual expression. Rasa in the Indian theory of aesthetics represents the taste or the flavour of a piece of art. In Indian dance form, it has a quality that connects both the artiste and the spectator.

South Asian dancers believe that they can relay emotions belonging to nine sentiments (popularly called “navarasa”) more effectively through expressions rather than verbal communication. The nine sentiments are: Shringara (love) Rasa, Hasya (mirth)Rasa, Karuna (pity or tenderness) Rasa, Raudra (anger or wrath) Rasa, Veera(heroism) Rasa, Bhyanaka (fear) Rasa, Bivatsa (disgust) Rasa, Adbhuta (wonder or surprise) Rasa and Shanta (tranquillity or peace) Rasa.

These navarasa, manifested as emotional states or moods, are evident in Tagore's compositions. Based on those compositions is the dance production"Gaudiya NrityaSakal Raser Dhara”. Timeless Tagore numbers including "Ketechhey Ekela Biroher Bela", "Tumi Robey Nirobey", "Pinaketey Lagey Tongkar", "Akash Bhora Surja Tara", "Mukto Koro Bhoy", "Borish O Dhora Majhey Shantir Bari", “Moron Rey Tuhu Mamo Shyam Soman” (Bhanusingher Padaboli) and excerpts from his dance dramas --"Chandalika", "Valmiki Pratibha", "Chitrangada" were beautifully incorporated to showcase the entire dance presentation. The music direction, vocal and light for the presentation was composed and designed by Amitava Mukherjee. Shibu Das assisted him.

A number of brilliant dancers --Arpita Mukherjee, Sekh Wasim Raja, Sudeshna Majumder, Sauma Bhowmik, Paramita Banerjee, Ayan Mukherjee, Ranjina Chatterjee, Debasish Sarkar, Priyanka Agnes Paris, Swarupa Das and Rachana Kar took part in the dance recital.

Dr. Mahua Mukherjee is a legendary dancer from India who has brought this almost extinct dance form to the fore. A choreographer of the Gaudiya Nritya, Dr. Mukherjee is a Professor of the Department of Dance at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. She has also worked as a visiting Professor and researcher in the Oklahoma University, USA.

Dr Mukherjee has revived and recreated more than 50 dance compositions of Gaudiya Nritya and has delivered lecture-demonstrations on Gaudiya Nritya in more than 100 universities of India and abroad. She has written 10 books on dance and more than 80 articles in national and international magazines.

The troupe also staged the same production at the Shilpakala Academy Hall of Mymensingh on March 21.

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