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Sight & Sound

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Feb 2020 11:03 AM GMT

Prantik Deka

a classical spectacle

krishnam classical festival-2020

The audiences were held spellbound by one of the finest spectacles of classical dance presentations by some of the State’s leading dance exponents, performing individually and collectively at the Krishnam Classical Festival-2020, which was held at the Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati, recently. The festival, organised by Krishnam, a noted socio-cultural organisation of Guwahati, started off with a riveting gayan-bayan performance by Majuli’s Sri Sri Uttar Kamalabari Satra, which was directed by Muhikanta Bora Borbayan.

On the occasion, the Mahapurush Sri Sri Sankardeva Sri Sri Madhavdeva Award, instituted by Krishnam, was handed over by the Governor of Assam, Prof Jagdish Mukhi to the internationally renowned danseuse and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr Sonal Mansingh for the year 2018, and Nrityacharjya Padmashree awardee Jatin Goswami for the year 2019. The award comprised of a memento, gamosa, angavastra, xorai, citation and a financial award.

After receiving her award, Dr Sonal Mansingh, in her speech said that Assam holds a very dear place in her heart. “I feel very pleased and honoured to receive the award which is named after the great saints,” she said. It was an experience similar to what she felt after getting the Padma Shri. “Sattriya, as a classical dance form, must be preserved and promoted by everyone involved and sustained efforts should be made to maintain its purity and originality. This beautiful art form needs to be disseminated throughout the world. It’s highly imperative that the practitioners of the form should go through various books and absorb them carefully to gather sufficient knowledge in order to ensure that each mudra and characteristic is appropriately maintained while performing. Performing the Sattriya art form without proper study and a guru is inappropriate,” she said. She concluded her speech by thanking the organisers for honouring her. On the other hand, Jatin Goswami said that awards are a source of inspiration for more creative endeavours. He advised the upcoming dancers to maintain the pristine form of the Sattriya dance style in their performances, while, at the same time, adhere to the values imparted by their gurus.

The award presentation was followed by the felicitation of noted danseuse Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati’s gurus Dimbeswar Bhuyan and Muhikanta Bora Borbayan, who were presented with a gamosa, memento and a citation each by the Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi.

On the occasion, Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati’s research-based book Sattriya Oja-pali was also released by the Governor. The book has been published by the Assam Book Hive in three languages Assamese, Hindi and English.

Pradip Baruah, senior journalist, noted writer and the Editor of the well-known Prantik magazine, said that the book will be a great wealth of literary-cultural information, and it has been possible because of the incredible dedication and painstaking efforts extending over a number of years that the writer has devoted to recovering and assembling many of those Bandha ragas, mostly used in Oja-Pali, from the oral traditions, and converting them into musical notations or swaralipi. “It will be of enormous help to the new generation of practitioners, and in the preservation of the priceless ragas employed in Sattriya Oja-pali. It was quite a challenging task, and the author worked extremely hard to piece together a book of enormous significance and value,” he said.

Attending as the Chief Guest in the cultural programme, the Governor said that he felt extremely pleased to present the Mahapurush Sri Sri Sankardeva Sri Sri Madhavdeva Award to two of the most celebrated artistes of Indian classical dance. “The feeling of Rasa or bhava that evolves out of the human heart undergoes creative expression in a dance form, involving bodily movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and eye movements, we term it as classical dance, and it’s a form of dance which is performed under certain rules and regulations, which are like the grammar of a language. It’s one of the richest creations of the Sanatan Vedic civilisation. Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra, which is also regarded as the fifth Veda, is the basis upon which classical music and dance evolved. It’s considered as the source book of the art of drama, dance and music in India. Sattriya dance, which is considered as one of the eight Indian classical dance forms, is an unique creation of the great saints – Srimanta Sankardeva and his faithful disciple Madhabdev. I urge upon the young generation to help take this great tradition in its pristine form to the world stage,” he said.

Before concluding his speech, the Governor congratulated the prominent exponents of Indian classical dance - Dr Sonal Mansingh and Jatin Goswami, for promoting the rich Indian traditional culture before the world, in addition to showering praises on Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati for endeavoring to release her book in the languages of Hindi and English as well.

The function was also graced by the First Lady of Assam Prem Mukhi, former Chief Secretary of Assam T.Y. Das, former Additional Chief Secretary Himanshu Sekhar Das, Secretary of the Cultural Affairs Department Preetom Saikia, noted writer-publisher Nabin Baruah, noted researcher-writer Dr Pradip Jyoti Mahanta, former Commissioner Secretary of Assam and noted writer Thaneswar Malakar, Secretary to the government of Assam Shamsher Singh, Secretary to the Governor Sanjiv Gohain Baruah, Biswadeep Barua, noted mime artiste Moinul Haque, Commissioner and Secretary (retired) of Industries and Commerce, Govt. of Assam Swapnanil Barua, publisher Dhiraj Goswami, along with other dignitaries.

The celebration got going with classical dance recitals performed in different genres by some of the State’s most renowned names. The packed audiences were regaled by the leading Sattriya exponents in their colourful costumes performing Sattriya dance in unison Anita Sharma, Dr Mallika Kandali, Seetarani Hazarika, Sabita Saikia, Bhanu Deka Saharia and Bobby Rani Talukdar. It was followed by a wonderful Kathak dance recital by the well-known dancer Marami Medhi, which was followed by an exquisite Odissi dance performance by noted danseuse Dr Anjana Moyee Saikia, and finally, culminating in an absorbing Sattriya group dance by eminent danseuse Kashmiri Hazarika Kakati and her associates, including Pubali Dolly Gupta, Prerana Chaliha, Kasturi Phukan, Joyjeeta Das, among others.

The evening’s proceedings were ably hosted by Monmoromi Mahanta and Darshita Kakati.

adil hussain’s ‘meal’ released digitally

The critically acclaimed Adil Hussain starrer ‘Meal’ was released on the digital platform MUBI India, for a month, on February 16. It will be followed by an official release in Hotstar.

After a world premiere at the Arizona International Short Film Festival last year, the movie, directed by young filmmaker Abhiroop Basu, has already travelled to over 50 international film festivals and 65 cities around the globe and winning eight awards in several categories, including three best film awards. After winning appreciation and laurels across the globe, it will run till March 16 on MUBI, as a part of its distinct model of showcasing cult, classics and the best of independent cinema from around the world.

Like many short filmmakers, Basu believes that in the absence of avenues for theatrical release or marketing budgets, film festivals give their work legs to travel and reach a wider audience.

The movie portrays a dysfunctional family, who sits together for their customary morning meal amidst communal tension outside.

The other actors in the movie along with Adil are Ratnabali Bhattacharjee and Arun Mukhopadhyay. The film’s story is written by the director himself.

children’s film festival held in tura

The two-day Children’s Film Festival, organised by the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with the West Garo Hills district administration and the Department of Arts and Culture, Meghalaya, concluded in Tura, recently.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who inaugurated the festival, said that children learn better from audio-visual contents, which is the main reason behind conducting such programmes. He maintained that the contents should be tailored as per the needs of children, and stated that the audio-visual medium could also be used to communicate useful and informative ideas and messages to children that are important for their growth, and to create a impact on their lives.

Stating that children are the future of the nation, Sangma advised the children to become responsible citizens.

Apart from showcasing films on Mahatma Gandhi, cleanliness, etc, the festival showcased children’s movies – Prince and the Crown of Stone, Gattu, Kaphal, Rhino, Pappu Ki Pugdandi, and Krish, Thrish & Baltiboy, among others, at the District Auditorium in Tura, West Garo Hills.

The festival underlined the message for the children to understand the rich cultural heritage and tradition, which needs to be ingrained through the powerful medium of films.

nipon goswami, vidya rao felicitated

The NRL recently felicitated two veteran actors – Nipon Goswami and Vidya Rao Nair – for their outstanding contribution to the Assamese film industry and society as a whole. NRL MD SK Barua felicitated the artistes and handed over a cheque of Rs 1.5 lakh each as a goodwill gesture.

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