A splendid display of intricate footwork

A splendid display of intricate footwork

Complex Steps

GRACEFUL Manasi Raghunandan

She performed a medley of dance pieces, which included the chowka and tribangha, or circular and semi-circular dance forms, which are an integral part of odissi.

They were inspired by the postures and poses of sculptures found in the major temples of Orissa, and laid a lot of emphasis on intricate footwork.

The first dance piece that Manasi Raghunandan performed was the mangala charan, which is one of the opening pieces of odissi.

It is primarily a devotional piece, wherein the artiste pays homage to an image of God. In this, the artiste enters the stage holding flower petals.  She proceeds to pay tribute to an idol of Lord Vishnu which is kept beside the stage.  Set to Hamsadhwani raag, this dance piece was choreographed by Manasi Raghunandan herself.  She impressed one and all with her flowing, graceful movements and the perfect coordination that she maintained with the music.

The second piece that she performed was Pallavi, a graceful dance that is integral to any odissi recital.

This is a pure dance piece, with movements which are based on music. It was set to Ananda Bhairavi raga, and treats the viewer to mobile sculpture poses and sensual movements.

Filled with hypnotic hip movements, it was a treat to the eye.   It was choreographed by Muralidhar Maji, a well-known dance expert from Kolkata. Manasi Raghunandan entered the stage holding up the folds of her sari in a coy manner, and proceeded to demonstrate her wonderful sense of balance in this piece.

The third piece that she performed was the abhinaya, taken from the bhakti-poet Jayadev’s Geet Govind.

It revolved around the story of Krishna and Radha, and as it unfolded, the piece explored the delicate balance of emotions and the relationship that existed between the two lovers.

With a lot of emphasis on facial expressions — which Manasi Raghunandan did perfect justice to — the lyrics of the piece described Krishna has having a black body, earrings and yellow clothes.  It was choreographed by Kelucharan Mohapatra.

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