Mumbai: It was pure delight, a feast for the eyes and ears. The 22nd Pandit Durgalal Festival, held in honour of late Kathak guru Pandit Durgalalji in Mumbai, presented some of the best artists from the city and abroad.
The theme of the dance festival this year was ‘Gati Gayand’, meaning playing with rhythm and speed. Kathak exponent Uma Dogra, who is a disciple of Pandit Durgalalji and also has been organizing this festival for 21 years, says, “We wanted to present something vibrant this time. Since dance is a medium to play with the rhythm, we thought it would be enjoyable, both to the dancer and the audience, to present the sheer technique of dance.”
Award winning Kathak dancer Uma Dogra and her students started off the show with an enchanting piece showcasing different Taals, or beats. Carrying forward the atmosphere of enthusiasm, Vibhav Arekar and his students presented a beautiful piece of Bharatanatyam. The group staged a very unusual, structured beginning and some very beautiful formations. Following them, renowned Odissi exponent Daksha Mashruwala and her students portrayed a charming item in the Odissi form.
The highlight of the show was the dynamic Kathak maestro Pandit Chitresh Das. A true performer and artist, Panditji displayed unusual mastery on rhythm, speed and Abhinaya. It was as if his feet spoke to the audience. Like an experienced showman, Panditji established a rapport with the viewers and delighted all with his easy wit and humour. Panditji started with a small Shiva Stuti, followed by his famous innovation ‘Kathak-Yoga’, which thrilled the art connoisseurs. Emphasizing on the plight of women all over the world, he presented a piece from Mahabharata – Draupadi Cheerharan. Lastly, he danced on a Krishna Bhajan and enchanted the audience to clap along.
Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts, established and managed by Smt Uma Dogra, has been organizing this festival every year. The festival aims to feature great artists of the music and dance fraternity and give the audience the best from the field of art.