Different shades of love

On the same occasion, an exhibition was also held. Different photographs in colour and black and white by Avinash Pasricha were on display. The different visualisation of rich medieval poetry of Jayadeva’s Geetha Govinda, depicting different moods or nayikas in such depth and detail, were embellished with innumerable Sanchari Bhavas, or improvisations of the main mood of Shringara or Love.

Says Kshama Rau, “It was my friend who persuaded me to organise a programme of this sort. I have a collection of pictures taken by Avinash Pasricha, where he has captured different moods of a dancer in great depth and detail. Looking at these great pictures of beauty got me thinking as to why not have an exhibition to tell the world about it.”
The odissi recital and the different compositions were inspired by the text of Geetha Govinda which elaborates the moods of the heroine. She says, “This odissi recital is inspired from Geetha Govinda. There are Ashta nayikas explained in this from which I have taken three and performed.”

 It started with Kshama depicting the nayika Abhisarika, which is an avatar of Radha. Performing the composition Sakhi eh keshi mathana in Raag Mishr Pahadi which means ‘bring him to me’, she depicted the bhavas and the different obstacles that Radha faces while going to meet her lover. 

In the next abhinaya, Kshama portrayed the nayika Khandita who is enraged with her lover.

Performing Yahi Madhava, Yahi Keshava, she stays awake all night, all adorned waiting for her lover to come and meet her. But when he doesn’t turn up until next morning, she refuses his love. This musical composition was set to raag Bhairavi in jati taal. This was followed by nayika Swadheena Bhartrika in which the heroine is in command of the situation. She has the final say in most of the things and her lover attends to her every whim and fancy. As she goes about making her lover put a flower in her hair, the different bhavas of love are portrayed through Kuru yadu nandan in Raag Mishr Kapi in jati taal.

The entire saga was well-portrayed and the mood of the artiste seemed to have an effect on the crowd. Avani, a student says, “I have been learning classical dance for eight years now. I could relate to the abhinaya and nrityas that were performed. Moreover, the way Kshama Rau depicted each one of them so seamlessly is commendable.” She adds, “Even the people who didn’t know about dance or about the script could connect with her.” Another person Jignesh says, “I always come to Alliance for the cultural programmes that they organise. This concert was again a different one compared to the others as it had combined photography and dance.”  

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