Mangaluru, Mar 05, 2021: Nrityaangan, a registered trust, organized SAMARPAN 2021 – The 8th edition, on the 26 th , 27 th and concluded on 28 th of February 2021, on their YouTube channel @Nrityaangan, as per report from the organizers. The dancers featured in the festival were Aditi Lakshmi Bhat (Mangaluru), Shreema Upadhyaya (Bengaluru), T. Reddi Lakshmi (New Delhi) Vidyashree Radhakrishna (Mangaluru) Dr. Manjari Chandra Pushparaj (Udupi) and Shruti Gopal (Bengaluru).
This mega event premiered digitally due to the unprecedented pandemic situation and was supported by the Department of Kannada & Culture, Govt. of Karnataka. Over the years, Samarpan Indian classical dance festival of Nrityaangan has carved a niche for itself in not only the coastal city of Mangalore but also making itself known pan India. It is the most awaited event in the cultural calendar of Mangaluru. Corona virus pandemic did halt the life for almost a year, and worse hit were the artists and performers. Nevertheless, adversity opens up varied ways to move forward. Nrityaangan found a way to celebrate and support the artists in these difficult times by going digital. Talking about this online/digital celebration, Radhika Shetty, Director of Nrityaangan commented, “As a performing artiste myself, there is nothing like performing for a live audience. But, keeping in mind the challenges of organizing Samarpan 2021, during these difficult times, as we had artistes from different parts of India, we opted for the first ever digital version of the festival."
First day introduced a young student of Bharatanatyam Aditi Lakshmi Bhat (Mangaluru). She flawlessly presented Natesha Kauthwam and Amba Stuti. Aditi’s performance was promising and there is no doubt that with proper training and continued effort, she would become a solo performing artist. Shreema Upadhyaya’s performance was graceful and was an exemplar of Guru Sri. P. Praveen Kumar’s method of Bharatanatyam. While her experience of participating in many dance productions and competitions has added to her stage presentation, the aaharya enunciated her performance. Shreema performed a Shloka, Jathiswara, Sharada Bhujanga stotra, Javali and a Tillana. Day 2 of the dance festival commenced with a Kuchupudi presentation by T. Reddi Lakshmi, New Delhi who is among the established and reputable performers in the present generation of Kuchipudi artists in India. The performance further validated that Kuchupudi dance is indeed a cakewalk for her. The employment of aaharya in each performance expressed the nuances of the dance form while she owned the quick movements typical to Kuchupudi. Her performance included Vinayaka Kauthwam, Krishna Shabdam, Gajendra Moksham, Javali and Tillana. Second performance of the day was by Vidyashree Radhakrishna, a known name in the coastal city of Mangaluru. The presentations did highlight her expertise in choreography, music, nattuvangam and performance. Saamagana lolane.
While Dr. Manjari chose Varnam as her main performance, she began with a Ganesha Krithi and concluded with a Tamil Padam. The festival concluded with Shruti Gopal’s captivating performance of the solo Varnam in Karnataka Kapi raga and rupaka taala. This performance not just introduced her abhinaya, nritta skills, but also showcased the forbearance that comes with constant practice of the art form. As the artistic director at Upadhye School of dance, her work in Bharatanatyam is well-known and the performance did justice. The immense effort of all the performers alongside the technical experts should be put on record. The pandemic has forced people from all walks of life to go digital and this movement requires huge effort. In producing technically sound recordings and premiering digitally without any technical glitches needs arduous effort. Overcoming all the technical bearings was one of the highlights of the “Digi-Dance-Fest”. Although one could easily recline on the sofa and watch the performances, while pausing or watching at a later time when the video was available, it indeed left the rasikas wanting for more. As a rasika, the theatre experience of watching a performance is far more scintillating and we cannot but wait to prepare for a far more “real” experience.