International Odissi Festival 2003: Shyamali Hauth and Ratna Roy perform Thali dance and Ashtapadi
Duration: 00:19:57; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 46.483; Saturation: 0.353; Lightness: 0.275; Volume: 0.405; Cuts per Minute: 9.216
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.
Ratna Roy, Ph.D., started her training in Odissi dance in 1972 under Guru Govinda Chandra Pal, and from 1977 until his death in 2003, she trained under Guru Pankaj Charan Das. One of his seniormost disciples, she has performed extensively as a soloist in India, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, the Baltics, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, China, and Japan. In the US she is well-known for her own choreography based on her dual heritage as an Indian and an American. Ratna has published several articles in both Indian and US journals and has received fellowships and awards for her dance and scholarship, including the Advanced Fulbright Fellowship (1985), American Institute of Indian Studies Fellowship (1988), National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship and Summer Fulbright Fellowship (1988), Arts International Award (2001), Fund for Folk Culture Award (2005), Washington State Arts Commission's Master Apprenticeship Award (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), the Gordon Ekvall Tracie Memorial Award (2008), and WSAC's Fellowship Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (2008).
Here, she performs with her daughter Shyamali Hauth. Hauth performs the 'thali' dance, performed in the tradition of Guru Pankaj Charan Das' Odissi, a dance performed on the rim of a brass plate even as the dancer balances a plate of lit candles on each palm. This is performed to the verses of the srita kamala kucha mandala, a composition in the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva. Roy then goes on to perform 'rajani janita...', another ashtapadi, known more popularly by the refrain - yahi madhava yahi kesava ma vada kaitava vadam'. Here, Radha waits for Krishna all night long; when he finally arrives only the next morning, the marks of loveplay with another woman prominent on his body, she is furious, and entreats him to go away.
From a news report by Shyamhari Chakra from the Hindu, in 2007...
"Some have a wrong notion that it is an imitation of the `Thali' dance of Kuchipudi style. In fact, it is an ancient dance form of Puri where the Mahari and Gotipua dances originated and flourished as part of the Jagannath temple rituals resulting in the evolution of Odissi dance later. As it is not being performed for decades now, very few have an idea about its origin and growth," explained Ms.Roy.
"The `Thali' dance has an Andhra link. It was queen Padmavati, princess of Kanchi and wife of King Purusottam Dev of Puri, who brought a few `devdasis' (known as Telengana maharis) with her when she got married. Those dancers were performing `Thali' dance along with the Oriya maharis. As late Padma Shri Pankaj Charan Das, the guru of gurus of Odissi, was trained by a mahari, he had an idea of this typical dance form," Ms. Roy, whose daughter Shyamali was trained by Das in 1977, said.
Although Das was keen in training a group of young girls in `Thali' dance, there were a few takers. Standing on the sharp edged rim of a large brass plate while turning the candle laden small plates on the palms upside down in time to the dance rhythm demands perfect concentration, prolonged and continued practice besides physical balance.