Day 2 Of Konark Festival 2022: Twin Tales of Elegance & Electrifying Courage

It felt like a group of lotus being cradled by a gentle breeze. It was pure joy, grace and glory. It was divine yet humane. It was slowness all over the stage. Somehow, slowness can be deadly boring, if you fail to hear the music of silence imbibed in it. In the Manipuri dance style, slowness is the core aesthetic value and aesthetically designed slowness is the poetry of life and nature.

The graceful slowness of Manipuri was the most captivating feeling of the second evening of the Konark Festival: 2022. The dance speaks through its slowness the fastest-moving emotion called love. It was “Basanta Rasa”: the blooming love of Radha and Krishna during the spring. The Manipuri recital by Jawaharlal Nehru Academy of Imphal was almost like slow magic. The perfect synchronisation and elegant hand gestures of all the dancers created the spell of visual poetry. It lent a charming beginning to the evening, which was both superb and mesmerising.

If the Manipuri was the tale of grace and elegance, Odissi was a tale of power, courage and vivacity. Gunjan Dance Academy led by ace Odissi maestro Meera Das conquered the stage with her power-packed performance. Her well-groomed dancers flow like water and make the stage their own. The Odissi recital was a pack of three items. They began with a salutation to the Sun god, which was choreographed with magnificent movements and marvellous still formations. The Jhinjoti Pallavi was well crafted as a pure piece of dance.


The final presentation of Meera Das and her group was a new choreographic piece celebrating the struggling spirit of womanhood. Women’s struggle from the mythological era to this time is an unending saga of fire ordeal. The choreography was woven around the poem of the great Odia poet Fakir Mohan Senapati where he portrayed a woman as the flowering creeper in the jungle of cruel thorns. Meera very carefully crafted the characters, events and messages to create an aesthetic narrative.

The basic theme of the presentation was extraordinarily narrated through appropriate movements, drama and formations. Three major characters:  Sita, Radha and the woman of today who is facing all kinds of atrocities are portrayed with sincere artistic concern.  Meera Das’s dance as art is extremely sensible, humane, compassionate and daring.

The Music for the piece “Sei Ramani” or “the woman, she is” was sensibly composed by Srinabas Satpathy. He is coming up as a highly promising music composer in the world of Odissi.

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