International Odissi Festival 2003: Seminar - Ratikanta Mohapatra on works in Avadhi/ Sanskrit
Duration: 00:15:15; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 16.946; Saturation: 0.037; Lightness: 0.205; Volume: 0.282; Cuts per Minute: 1.179; Words per Minute: 20.438
Summary: The 2nd International Odissi Festival was organised by IPAP between August 28 - 31, 2003, in Washington D.C. Dedicated to the memory of Guru Pankaj Charan Das, who passed away in June 2003, it brought together Odissi dancers and scholars from all over the world.
Ratikant Mohapatra is a dancer, percussionist, teacher, choregrapher and archivist of Odissi. Born into the family of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra & Laxmipriya Mohapatra was indeed an advantage for Ratikant. Imbibing the artistic and creative talents of both Guruji & Guruma as the parents of Ratikant were addressed, he improvised on his own natural talents and inclination towards dance and music at an early age. Tutored by the maestro in the art of Odissi & mardala Ratikant did not spare any efforts to emerge as a leading male dancer by the time he was in his early twenties.
He is the director of Srjan Odissi Nrityabasa in Bhubaneswar. Apart from his performance career, he has also ventured into cinema. He has choreographed Odissi dance sequences for an Indo–Chinese film “The Desire” and has guided the performance of noted film stars Jayaprada and Shilpa Shetty in it.
Here, he demonstrates an Avadhi/ Sanskrit piece by the poet Vithaldas, eulogising Hanuman.
Jayant Kastuar introduces Ratikant Mohapatra, who was supposed to present from the Ramcharitmanas, an Avadhi text.
Hindi is different from Avadhi in terms of usage for dancers. Khari boli/ Hindi is not equipped with the lyricism that softer, rounded languages like Avadhi and Maithili. The former doesn't lend itself easily to being sung.
Ratikant Mohapatra begins to speak of his experience with his father Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, while creating a second piece of literature, creative work, from the original text of the Ramcharitmanas.
An example - vande santam sri hanumantam - Sri Vithaldas, an example of Sanskritised Avadhi (?)
The piece can be portrayed well in a masculine manner. Guruji and Ratikant came across Vithaldas' literature while preparing a new choreography for the Sankat Mochan festival in Benares in 1990.
Ingenuous choreography - movements of the monkey make their way into stylised dance. To illustrate, he performs a small excerpt. Hanuman is revered for his strength, power, devotion and fearlessness. He has easy access to Rama; it is believed that prayers to him and through him reach the almighty.
In this piece the poet extols the virtues of this great devotee (Hanuman) of lord Rama; he references many incidents from his life - which find their way into the choreography.
Though he is extraordinarily strong, Hanuman's eyes are filled with tears of devotion when he beholds Rama. Ever at his service, he crosses the ocean in search of Sita, Rama's wife and finds her in the Ashoka vatika of Ravana. Sita's joy knows no bounds when she confirms that Hanuman is not a messenger of the demons but someone sent by her beloved, Rama.
Vande santam sri hanumantam
Kastuar summarises the points made.
The veer rasa makes it a good selection for a male dancer.
Sahitya can satvik in how it is treated, or dramatic. That process is something the dancer has to select to give the composition a unique hue.