Nritanrithyathi 2019, a festival of Indian Classical Dances organised by Nrithyathi Kalakshetram in association with SAIL and Ramkrishna Care Hospital (Raipur), was held at the Ayyappa Temple, Sector 2, Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) from April 7-9. The festival is being organised for the last 8 years since its inception in 2012.
On all the three days, Bharatanatyam Margam Competition was conducted during the daytime where the competitors were asked to prepare and perform items from the Bharatanatyam repertoire as requested by a panel of judges. This was followed by a Question & Answer session during the performance. The panel of judges asked them to perform any item from the ones that the contestants have prepared and asked them relevant questions about it. In the senior category, there was also a choreography round where the performers were given a subject/story/character on the spot and the performer was asked to choreograph the same on a given, specific talam. This competition tested dancers not just on their performing abilities, but also on their command over the basics like talam, adavus, mudras, stamina, strength, theoretical knowledge of dance, creativity and most importantly, presence of mind. Each contestant performed for an hour accompanied by a live orchestra.
The Nritanrithyathi Festival in the evening became a platform for many talented, young dancers from across the country. There were also guest performers including eminent dancers from different styles like Sandhya Manoj (Odissi) from Malaysia, Poornashree Raut (Odissi) from Raipur, Aparajita Sharma (Bharatanatyam) from New Delhi, Richa Gupta (Kathak) from New Delhi and Sujatha Nair (Mohiniattam) from Mumbai.
This edition of the festival saw 20 participants for the Bharatanatyam Margam Competition in the morning and more than 100 artistes performing at Nritanrithyathi festival in the evening.
This festival was conceptualised by Guru Dr G Ratheesh Babu, founder-director of Nrithyathi Kalakshetram, Bhilai. The main aim of this festival was to promote and preserve Indian classical dance forms and provide a platform for the younger generation of performing artists to showcase their talent. This festival, in turn, has also provided the city of Bhilai and its people an insight into the world of Indian classical dances and has brought this art form closer to their lives.
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