International Odissi Festival 2011: Utsav performs Chandrabhaga
Director: Ranjana Gauhar
Duration: 00:21:26; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 289.687; Saturation: 0.253; Lightness: 0.047; Volume: 0.143; Cuts per Minute: 0.513
Summary: The 4th International Odissi Dance Festival in 2011 was held from December 23 to 30, 2011, at Rabindra Mandap Bhubaneswar. The festival was preceded by an attempt to create a world record by having around 550 dancers perform together at Kalinga Stadium. It saw the participation of most major Odissi ensembles in Orissa and a few from outside the state. With performances for over twelve hours each day, the festival featured several hundred performers in solo, duet and group works over eight days. In its scale, the festival offered a bird's eye view of the landscape of contemporary Odissi and its ever-changing nature. It foregrounded new trends in choreography, music and costuming. The seminars during the festival sparked lively debates on issues and concerns in Odissi. One such concern, voiced repeatedly, questioned the definition of tradition within the space of the dance form and the limits it could be stretched to. This raised parallel questions about innovation and experimentation in Odissi - a debate that found itself mirrored in the performances during the festival.
Utsav is an Odissi dance academy and company set up by Ranjana Gauhar. Based in Delhi since 1987, the company has been recently touring with Chandrabhaga and the Tagore work Chitrangada. Ranjana sometimes uses Chhau dancers in her productions.
Here, the company performs the story of Chandrabhaga. The Sun-god Surya fell in love with this young woman of breathtaking beauty. Sadly though, his affection was not returned which drove the lovelorn Surya mad. He suffered humiliation and a thousand torments. In utter despair he ran after the enchanting beauty right up to the shore. Chandrabhaga drowned herself in the sea in a tragic end to this pursuit of love. Filled with rage and remorse, Chandrabhaga's father, the sage Sumanyu curses the sun god, predicting that the Konark temple will soon fall into ruin.
Mayadhar Rout gharana
The sutradhara narrates the gist of the story.
Sumanyu, a rishi of the lineage of sage Parasurama, had a beautiful daughter Chandrabhaga, borne by an apsara of the sea. This is her story.
The beautiful Chandrabhaga is introduced, against the backdrop of the waves of the sea.
Her long lustrous locks she gathers into a bun
Her gait is enchanting; as she walks, the bells on her feet tinkle.
As her form is described thus, the waves keep changing form.
She adorns herself, and drapes flowing garments around herself.
There is a description of her environment. The waves of the sea lap joyfully, but in peace, all around her. She is surrounded by birds that chirp sweetly, birds that sing of love.
As the sun god descended to earth in Konark, his eyes fell on the maiden Chandrabhaga.
A Seraikella Chhau dancer plays the Sun god. He is hit by the arrow of Kama, and falls in love with Chandrabhaga.
Hit by the arrows of Kama, the desire to win Chandrabhaga's love stirs the depths of the sun god's heart.
The interaction between Chandrabhaga and Surya.
Chandrabhaga tries to escape from Surya's grasp. She beseeches the other gods, asking them to save her from his relentless pursuit. Finally, seeing no other alternative, she runs towards the ocean and ends her life.
When the rishi Sumanyu hears of the tragic story of his daughter's death, he is incensed. He curses Surya, condemning the temple of Konark to decay and ruin.
The music and movements here draw heavily on the folk traditions of Orissa.
This verse is in praise of Orissa and its rich culture.