Twin dancers from Singapore

Dance review

Arpana – a dance recital by Shubhra and Soumya Ojha was held on Friday at the ADA Rangamandira. Ojha sisters are the twin sisters from Singapore and disciples of Dr Siri Rama.

They have performed in many prestigious festivals including Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya and Charity concerts and International Dance Day and also in the august presence of Singapore’s Prime Minister,  Lee Hsien Loong. Though they are very young – just 14 – have won many prizes and few awards also.

They have been undergoing training in Carnatic music and are part of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Children’s Choir too. They are also learning Aikido, a Japanese martial art and studying at the Canadian International School, Singapore.

Shubhra and Soumya Ojha (14) had selected an interesting fare, with few Kannada compositions also. They opened the programme with Mallari in Gambheeranaata raga, customarily. It was preceded by two slokas – on Rangadevi (Kalyani raga) and Devi Mookambika (Mohana). It gave them agood start but ‘Navarasa’ in the beginning itself was a challenge to the young dancers.

Though they performed most of the nine sentiments easily, ‘Bheebhatsa’ and ‘Roudra’were not very effective. The Reetigowla Varna, was the piece de resistance of the programme with childhood pranks of Krishna. Krishna’s birth, Puthani Samhara, Kalinga Mardana – were performed by the sisters, changing the roles in quick succession.

Shifting the speed from Ethugade, the piece was concluded with Geethopadesha. The choreography was simple and the sisters executed with ease and assurance. ‘Karava Mugida’ is a common devaranama in the music concerts, but not on the dance stage. Because there is no much elements for ‘Sanchari’ in this devaranama!

It was preceded by a few verses from Ramayana authored by Veerappa Moily. ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ in ragamalika (Punnagavarali, Hamsanandi and Revathi) was followed by a devotional of Kanakadasaru. Ten incarnations were performed evocatively, which was tuned in the raga Ahir Bhairav. The age old rivalry between the snake and the peacock was the subject of the ‘Sarpa Mayura’.

Abhinaya with sparkling eyes was restrained but, pleasant. Shubhra and Soumya Ojha have a bright future, with continued training and some more stage experience.
Guru Dr. Siri Rama (Natuvanga), Bhagya Murthy (vocal), G. Gurumurthy (Mridanga), Ghanavenothan Retnam (Flute),V. Gopal (Veena) and R. Dayakar (Violin) – gave spirited support from the wings.

The Ojha sisters concluded their Bharathanatya recital with a mangalam, in which they prayed for the peace and prosperity for the world.

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