A dancer's impressive tribute to her guru

When the Odissi dancer Aadiya Kaktikar performed her final act for the evening, she brought to the fore a gem from the Gotipua tradition in reverence to her guru Padamshri Mayadhar Raut.

Before the act began, she relived the glory of Gotipua dance (it is believed to be a precursor to the Odissi classical dance) and explained with gestures the beautiful rendition Ana Kunj Re, saying, “The next piece that I am about to perform is very special to all of us. 

This is an Odiya song that guruji used to dance to back in the 1940s with his sakha as a Gotipua dancer. 

When Krishna plays his flute under the tree, the sound of it pulls every heart in Vrindavan. God Krishna as a sakha, as a friend, as a confidant, this complex imagery of god has been brought forward by interplay of his leela in this song.” 

A glimpse of Gotipua enchanted the audience as Aadiya performed an Odissi recital ‘Shringaar’ at Triveni Kala Sangam over the weekend. 

Accompanied by a live orchestra, led by her guru Madhumita Rao on manjira, Aadiya the disciple who is pursuing a Masters in (Teaching) Dance, from the Royal Academy of Dance, London enraptured the audience with her nimble footwork and expressive movements. 

The evening explored the Bhakti of Lord Krishna in many ways as the performer depicted the agony and ecstasy of this path through some landmark choreographic compositions of Guru Mayadhar Raut. 
 
In the august presence of Ramón Blecua Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Spain as the guest of honour, she performed three different acts, beginning with Madhrashatkam, she portrayed how a devotee revels in the beauty of  the Lord’s form; his walk, his dance and his friendship.

The hall reverberated with the sound of pakhawaj as her guru Madhumita Rao introduced the second act Yahi Madhav saying that suffering the pangs of separation, when Krishna comes, Rasha spurns him for having spent the night with another woman. 

She asks him not to plead any lies with her. 
 
“Her anger and frustration are woven together in this much acclaimed masterpiece of guruji. An ashtapadi from 12th century Yahi Madhav is a powerful composition. It potrays a naayika, whose beloved doesn’t honour the promise of meeting her. It depicts bhakti shingaar, bhava and yearning of aatma to unite with the parmatma or super consciousness.”

 Embodying her guru’s style and technique, Aadiya performed the three acts with equal elan as the evening ended on a high note with her portrayal of Gotipua dance in Ana Kunj Re.

Dedicated to enriching her art through both research and performance, Aadiya is also the author of ‘Odissi Yatra’ the journey of her guru that documents the renaissance period of Odissi. 

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