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Prayaas 2023: Rasik Performing Arts Captivates Hearts in a Night of Spellbinding Dance

At the 26th edition of their annual festival, Prayaas: An Enchanting Evening of Dance, held at Apparel House, Gurugram, Rasik Performing Arts, a non-profit committed to the preservation and development of Indian classical arts, celebrated a night of creative excellence.
 Prayaas, an embodiment of Sangeet and Nritya, served as a platform for young talents while featuring renowned artists for Gurgaon’s audiences. Esteemed industry stalwarts, including Kathak dancer Pandit Jayant Kastuar, Shri Ravidra Mishra, Chitra Sharma, and Dibakar Das, Deputy Director (S&F) CCRT, graced the occasion.

The evening commenced with around 50 talented students of Rasik Performing Arts, aged 5 and upwards, presenting captivating performances that showcased the rich cultural heritage of India. The highlight of the evening was a duet performance by the revered founder of Rasik Performing Arts, Guru Jayashree Acharya who stole the spotlight. The piece ‘Channd Leela’ was a rhythmic and melodic crescendo celebrating the unique qualities of each musical instrument, complemented by the skill and grace of Kathak movement and expression. The evening also featured a special Odissi performance by respected guest Preetisha Mohapatra, who added even more elegance and brilliance to the already amazing lineup.

The exclusively curated performances explore the rich and varied terrain of Indian classical arts. The evening commenced with the production ‘Hari Har,’. With its deep twilight melody and complex 12-beat cycle, Ektaal, the performance captivated the audience as it celebrated the union of Shiva and Krishna in the beautiful Raag Kaushik Kanara. This was followed by “Saraswati Vandana” in Raag Desh. The kids then performed “Aakash,” patterns weaved into Raag Bilawal’s melodic canvas that offered enticing playfulness and a refreshing sweetness.

The artists performed “Bhupali,” a tarana set in Raag Bhupali, with the sixteen-beat cycle of Teental. Young performers from Rasik Performing Arts gave a delightful performance of “Bilawal,” which combined the melodic charm of Raag Bilaval with the charming beats of Teental to showcase childlike fun within the rigorous musical framework of classical discipline.

In honor of the 19th-century Brahmin Kathavaachak Bindadeen Maharaj, the audience was treated to another spellbinding performance of Kathak, inspired by Krishna Bhakti. In the seven-beat Taal Rupak time cycle, the composition “Ashtapadi” created a vivid scene of Krishna dancing in Vrindavan. This was followed by a Persian-influenced Tarana called “Jai Jaiwanti.” This tarana provided a lovely dancing and musical experience inside the 16-beat Teental cycle and the Jaijayanti melodic scale. As the event went on, the young artists performed “Teental,” a composition by Guru Jayashree Acharya from the 1990s that showcased the orbit of the taal with a focal point on the Sarangi refrain in the 16-beat cycle.

The young students performed ‘Jog Tarana,’ a rendition of the distinctive kathak traditions of the Lucknow gharana, in Raag Jog. Next was Sargam, set in Taal Teen Taal and Abhogi, based on Raag Kalavati.

Talking about the success of Prayaas 2023, Guru Jayashree Acharya said, “Kathak serves as my gateway to the diverse realms of dance, rhythm, melody, and poetry, providing insights into the intricacies of people, emotions, and the ever-evolving world. Through Prayaas, I endeavor to introduce this profound medium of expression and education to the curious minds of the younger generation who are captivated by the artistry of Kathak.”

With an enthralled crowd and a resounding success, the 26th Prayaas edition confirmed Rasik Performing Arts’ dedication to protecting and advancing the rich cultural legacy of Indian classical arts.

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