Alok Utsav Celebrated for the Fourth Time with Great Sincerity and Passion

Photos:  Nirmalya Roy

Photos: Nirmalya Roy

By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: The Lakeview Auditorium in Sugar Land was agog with activity and there was a buzz of intense excitement in the air on the evening of November 23, when the Kalaangan School of dance held its annual Odissi dance festival. Artistic director Supradipta Datta started off the evening with her erudite welcome address thanking all her Gurus, students and the audience and introduced the chief guest Sugar Land Councilman Himesh Gandhi. He performed the inaugural lamp lighting and emcee Shreya Mandal took charge of guiding the audience through the rest of the evening.

Alok 2

Jaya Jagannath was the opening dance performed by the junior-most group and it was a prayer to the presiding God of Orissa, Lord Jagannath. Mangalacharan, the next number was an invocatory composition seeking the blessings of Lord Ganesha for an auspicious beginning. Aradhana, a pure dance composition featuring the basic Odissi chauka steps followed and the degree of difficulty of the dance movements kept increasing with each dance.

Sthayee Nritya, a pure dance composition featuring sculpturesque poses and complex footwork ensued and was indeed a feast for the eyes. Saveri Pallavi with nuances of the Shringara Rasa was a lyrical elaboration of both music and dance. Ashtapadi was an abhinaya-based dance where Krishna enjoys the beauty of spring with the Gopinis. A second Mangalacharan paying obeisance to Lord Rama this time was then presented.

Mohana Pallavi, featuring innovative adaptation of typical Odissi steps then brought out the dynamic side of the art form. Durga, a powerful composition describing the beauty and valor of Goddess Durga was danced beautifully by the senior-most students of the school and received the loudest applause. Mokshya Mangalam concluded the evening where the dancers attempt to attain the ultimate goal of life – the reintegration of the soul with the Absolute.

A couple of students expressed their appreciation for dance and the Guru and a couple of parents also expressed their gratitude toward the Guru and the school during the course of the program. Datta gave her Vote of Thanks and congratulated all the students on the hard work they put in and the parents for their cooperation and all the volunteers and donors who made the evening possible.

The audience left with a smile on their face after experiencing an enjoyable evening filled with quality Odissi dance performances by 45 talented dancers and partaking in delicious snacks served in the foyer. May the Kalaangan School keep growing in leaps and bounds under the able guidance of deserving Guru Supradipta Datta.