Saptaswa……the rays of performing art is a socio-cultural organization of Tezpur, Assam a city of cultural status, the land of Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Bishnu Prashad Rabha & Phani Sarma. The founder of the organization is Dr. Pratibha Sharma, a promising Satriya artist trained under the guidance of dancing genius Guru Nrityacharyya Jatin Goswami, a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi award and Padmashree.
Dance has a long history in India. A large amount of material related to dance, dating from as early as the 2nd century BCE up to the 21st century CE, is available. For example we have a bronze ‘dancing girl’ figurine from Mohenjo-daro and a broken torso from Harappa in a dance pose.
To bust up the classical dancing sprit among the new generation, each and every year Saptaswa organise a colourful festival of Indian Classical Dance viz. ‘Nrityakalpa’. Like past couple of years, this time also Saptaswa stepped forward to celebrate 5th Nrityakalpa with its dancers and dance lovers on 12th and 13th March, 2016. The festival saw the same kind of sprit and enthusiasm from the audience, art lovers and participating artists in both the days.The festival presented some of the best performances in classical style of dances by some reputed national dancing figure throughout the India. On the first day of the festival a lecture demonstration programme was scheduled at Tezpur College auditorium. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. Saru Sahariah Nath, the principal of Tezpur College. The programme was anchored by Barnali sarma Baruah. In this programme a special lecture cum demonstration was performed by renowned Kathakali dancer from Bengaluru Sri Prabal Gupta. His topic was ‘The tradition of Kathakali’. After that Sri Hemanta Kalita from New Delhi, a proud son of Assam delivered his demonstration on ‘Krishna and Kathak: A story telling dance form of India’. The house full audience of the programme showed pin drop silent during their brilliant lecture cum demonstration. The 1st evening was inaugurated at sharp 6pm at heritage Ban Theatre by lighting the lamp with the holly hand of Sjt Haricharan Bhuyan Borbayan of Sri Sri Natun Kamalabari Satra. This time in connection with the programme one special souvenir was also published in the name of ‘Nrityakalpa’. The souvenir was released by eminent Assamese actor, director Sri Pranjal Saikia. In this programme Saptaswa felicitate Sangeet Natak Academy awardee Sattriya artist Anita Sarma. After that the main programme was started with Gayan Bayan, performed by the students of Naduar Sangeet Vidyapith of Satia. After that Malati Rajput of Guwahati performed a Sattriya dance. She started with a Sutradhari nach and then presented an act ‘Lila Gobindam’ based on Lord Krishna, directed by Anita Sarma. Then Sayomita Dasgupta of Kolkata presented an Odissi dance titled ‘Pallabi and Durgabandana’. It was a very elegant performance. After the Odissi a Bharatnatyam was performed by Jashodhara Bora of Nagaon, Assam. She is also a PhD Research Fellow of Tezpur University. The first day programme was concluded by a vivid Kathak performance of Mr. Hemanta Kalita from New Delhi. Mr. Kalita started his programme with a Sivbandana and Sutradhar Kathak. He also performed very famous Borgeet titled ‘Tejore Kamalapati……’ in Kathak style. The voice of the song was also his own. The audience enjoyed a lot his performance. The incessant claps of the houseful audience reflect the depth of his programme.
On the second day, the programme was inaugurated by local MLA of Tezpur Sjt. Rajen Borthakur by lighting a lamp. After that, a special felicitation was scheduled to felicitate artist (fine art) Mr. Ratumoni Das. Overcoming his physical difficulty Mr. Das abled to bagged the most prestigious President award in the year 2011. He has also designed the cover page of the souvenir. The first item was a Sattriya performed by the artists of Saptaswa. The group was headed by Dr. Pratibha Sharma, general secretary of Saptaswa. They started their recital with a Krishna Vandana followed by Ramdani of Chali Nach and performed a special act titled ‘Prakritipuja’. In this act, they reflect the story of Lord Indra and the villagers of Brindabana, how Lord Indra attacked the villagers of Brindabana and then Lord Krishna came to save them by holding The Gobardhan Hill. The music of ‘Prakritipuja’ was composed by Mr. Dhrubojyoti Borah. In the present day also human destructing biodiversity and as a result natural calamities are becoming common factors. Therefore, for a better liveable planet we will have to save the nature then nature will save us. In relation to this act one video was also designed and was played as a background which helped the audience to understand the act very clearly. This was a different kind of act and audience enjoyed a lot. The concept of this act was designed by Padmashree Jatin Goswami and was choreographed by Dr. Pratibha Sharma. The other team members of the act are Mayarani Borah, Prerana Baishya, Meghmallika Borah and Swati Bayan.
Next item was an Odissi dance performed by Dr. Anjanamoyee Saikia of Guwahati. An Assistant Professor of Gauhati Medical College Dr. Saikia presented an act on ‘Navadurga’. Having a different profession, this kind of recital is really praiseworthy. She also presented the famous Mahabharat character ‘Droupadi’ in the style of Odissi. After that, most prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar awardee Manipuri dancer Sinam Basu Singh presented his recital. The act was started with ‘Siva Panchakasaram’, after that he described the bond of Lord Krishna and Jasoda in his second element. Then, an extraordinary recital was performed by internationally reputed Kathakali dancing artist Mr. Prabal Gupta of Bengaluru. He has presented a different research based act on the world famous Cleopatra of William Shakespeare in the form of Katakali. This unusual act of North Eastern India able to provide a very special flavour to the audience.
All artists performed in the ‘Nrityakalpa’ deserved the rousing appreciation. This time an photo exhibition was also brought out in the premise of Ban theatre with the glimpse of last four years Nrityakalpa. The festival was anchored by Sri Santanu Baruah. Apart from this, Saptaswa has also initiated different graceful events in different places of Assam. They have organised many Workshops, cultural evenings and owned blessings from culture lovers. In the ground of Classical Dance the role of Saptaswa is really admirable.