Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra comes forth with yet another feather in its cap – Kendra Dance Festival, which showcases excerpts from different episodes of the revered Indian mythology. Produced and directed by Mrs. Shobha Deepak Singh, this five days’ long festival will celebrate Shree Durga, Abhimanyu and Meera along with Odissi on High (Boundless Verve & Audacity), which is translation of the traditional Odissi into a contemporary dance form by artistic direction of Malaysia’s Datuk Ramli Ibrahim and Guru Bichitrananda Swain.
The Kendra believes in reincarnating Indian mythology for its relevance in the present times. It strives to synchronize minds of youth today with rich values that one can derive from what we call our profound heritage. There is a whole treasure of morals and lessons one can learn and apply in practicality in their lives, all one needs to do is open one’s mind to the richness from the past.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 : Day One will open with the powerful depiction of Shree Durga and her victory over Mahishasur in Mayurbhanj Chhau dance form. The emotion of this episode from the Indian mythology resonates the most with the recent times – the atrocities women are facing today and how they must combat it.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 : Day Two is a window into the life of Abhimanyu and his conquest over the demons that lie within us – greed, jealousy and most of all violence. In a Mayurbhanj Chhau idiom this dance-drama will unveil Abhimanyu’s mental turmoil that is pertinent even in the humans of today; what changes is what one wants, not the tearing emotion.
Friday & Saturday, May 3rd & 4th, 2019 : Day Three and Four will rejoice the poems and bhajans of Meera and her victory over her own limitations. How Meera expressed the turbulence of her life through her poems, visualizes story of almost every woman’s life, even today. The boundaries are laid down by us, especially for women, not the Supreme Being. Over the centuries, the boundaries have made way into our genes and living in the said confinement has become nature. Meera, leaped across these limits becoming free-spirited; the Kendra represents that emotion, the abandonment of social crutches in the form of Rajasthani Folk Dance embellished by Shubha Mudgal’s soothing compositions.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 : Shriram Bharaitya Kala Kendra sets aside a new genre for itself. The traditional Odissi transformed into its contemporary format for easy appeal to the current generations and audiences. Odissi on High (Boundless Verve & Audacity), features dazzling performance of dancers of Sutra Foundation (Kuala Lumpur) and Rudrakshya Foundation (Bhubaneswar). This production explores the evolution of ‘Pallavi’ (a genre in odissi repertoire) representing the two styles of the pioneer gurus of Odissi, the late Kelucharan Mahapatra and Debaprasad Das. Their approaches have been developed and enhanced by their respective star disciples, Guru Bichitrananda and Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, respectively. Ramli Ibrahim is the conceiver of this production, co-artistically directing the production with Guru Bichitrananda Swain of Rudrakshya.
Shobha Deepak Singh, who has also brought life to the artists portraying the characters on stage, by designing outstanding costumes for them, says, “I have specialized in the area of costume designing. This was my special interest and passion because I was an art student. I always try to transform the costumes and ornaments from miniatures, sculptures for the stage. All these paid rich dividends and gave me an encouragement to proceed further.
The main concept that I had in my mind while designing costumes was the ability to use Legs. Mayurbhanj Chhau needs ability to use one or two Legs almost at an angle of 180°s. The costumes are therefore designed in such a way that makes it easy for dancers to execute with the ornaments.
I am an avid collector of antiques. However in the last two-and-half decades there has been a penetration of synthetic zari especially in personal wear. However, in the last three decades, there has been a growing popular use of synthetic fabric and zari. This makes the personal wear and costumes look unaesthetic. Personally, I have collected fabrics and textiles which are sometimes over 100 years and tried to use those techniques in designing my costumes also.”