The Kalinga Cultural Trust along with Natya Swara organised a festival of five classical dance forms at their auditorium on the weekend. It was a splendid opportunity to see the similarities and contrasts between the various dance forms.

‘Mohiniattam’ hailing from the lush green lands of Kerala, a gracefully flowing and stylised dance form believed to have originated from the dance performed by Vishnu in his Mohini Avatar, Kathak from the North displaying the courtly splendour of the Mughal court, ‘Bharatanatyam’, the crisp and vigorous dance form of Tamil Nadu, ‘Odissi’ from Orissa where the temple sculptures of Konarak epitomise this art and the lyrical elegance of ‘Kuchipudi’ from Andhra Pradesh which originated from the village near Vijaywada.

The program opened with the five artistes, Sindhuja, student of ‘Kuchipudi’ guru Yashoda Thakore, Aditi Bharatanatyam student of Ananda Shankar Jayant, Mitha Vinay, ‘Kathak’ student of Nandini Mehta, Mythili Anoop, ‘Mohiniattam’ student of guru Gopika Varma and Debashree Patnaik, ‘Odissi’ student of Yudhistir Nayak performing the guru Vandana Slokam to Hindustani music composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar.

The trinity of Gods was portrayed here in the various styles with rich effect. The next series of solo items commenced with Mythili in ‘Mohiniattam’ doing a Keertanam on the Devi of Kumaranallur shrine. The Goddess was represented as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga in the composition by Swati Thirunal in attana ragam. Aditi in ‘Bharatanatyam’ presented the Jayadeva Ashtapadi in Ragamalika, “pralaya payodhi jale” which tells the story of the Dashavatars of Vishnu.

‘Odissi’ performance by Debashree was Nabadurga which is mostly Abhinaya depicting the nine different forms of Devi. ‘Kuchipudi’ was by Sindhuja who performed the traditional plate dance or Tarangam of Narayana Teertha in mohanam,govardhana giridhara.mitha vinay gave a striking kathak recital of teen taal as the last solo piece.

The last Thillana in Desh sung by Bombay Jayshree contained Tamil lyrics in praise of lord Muruga which resulted in the formation of picturesque tableaux by all the artistes together. The program was graced by the presence of Dr Padmaja Rambabu, managing trustee of nada Prabha, R Chakrapani, secretary of SICA and renowned artist Sanjay Ashtaputre.