Within the same genre, Mr. Das has more attack, more hunger. Nobody ate up space so eagerly or in more staggeringly nonstop sequences. I kept thinking, “When’s the abhinaya section coming?” for he kept his nritta on the go for many minutes on end: bounding in jumps, rapidly tapping the soles of his feet on the floor, and rippling torso, head, and arms with unstoppable brio. The alternation of nritta and abhnaya in his work is subtle: You see the stories and characterizations, but little keeps him from dance itself. He too performs with sweetness (bright eyes, engaging smile), and yet that’s incidental. Lithe and seemingly never tired, he’s a force of nature.
Avijit Das, a rising star on the Kuchipudi horizon, gave a commendable performance in the traditional repertoire for most part of his performance at the India Habitat Centre. For this critic it felt like going down memory lane to watch a vibrant execution of a ‘shabdam,’ ‘Dasavataram’ and ‘Tarangam’ devoid of interpolations in the name of sophistry. Avijit brought the memories of Kuchipudi masters come alive with his untampered style… the pieces are always crisp and invigorating and never too long-drawn; so did the dancer who kept a close eye on the text and idiom in all earnestness. His footwork, gesticulation and sancharis were accurate to the changing pace of the rhythm; the only polish he brought into the dance without sacrificing its purity of expression was his stylishly cut out movements and eloquent facial feelings in tune with the connotation of the lyric.
Das performed at both concerts as well, but perhaps because he was pinch-hitting Saturday for another artist, we saw him at his best on Monday. “Tarangam” showed off his nature in a way “Dashavatara Shabdam” didn’t. To use ballet terms, Das is a petit allegro dancer: lithe and wiry, with speed, line, and a high center of gravity that seemed to float even when he was heading down into a knee bend. “Dashavatara Shabdam” made him look lightweight instead of like a speed demon. In “Tarangam,” he showed off his musicality and attack, moving from side to side during the tongue-twisting patter, finally stopping in attitude front and passing through a stable grand rond de jambe to the back.
Avijit Das of Bangalore looked like a Disney Prince professing his undying love to some lucky damsel in “Dasavtaram, Tarangam”. Choreographed by Guru, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, this piece presented Mr. Das as both a prince and a warrior, or a tiger in love. Granted this tiger used spry pas de chats, slicing arms along adiagonal, and a powerful attitude devant – that looked like a tail ready to envelop a loved one within a tight embrace – to express his passion. Ardor – or pride that is strong because of love – was what this dance communicated to me, particularly during the bowl dance. In the final section of this solo,
The young Kuchipudi dancer Avijit Das presented 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu with similar precision to that of the veteran Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan.
There is a Bharatanatyam dance performed by Pandit Avijit Das, an internationally renowned dancer. Pandit Das is an extraordinary dancer with incredible power radiating from his center, and I love this stuff. I’m immediately immersed in a world of dance.
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