CHENNAI: After a decade, Assam-based veteran dancer Indira P P Bora and her daughter Menaka will present the Sattriya repertoire, at the margazhi season. Indira, a Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, and Menaka, a Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar awardee, will showcase the centuries-old dance form, that has its roots in the Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam.
The dancers will present the Sattriya Nirtya Production in Narada Gana Sabha (December 22), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (December 24), Kalakshetra Arts Festival (December 26) and Kartik Fine Arts Society (December 31). The tour has been sponsored by Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Presenting the repertoire in four sabhas this season, Menaka, who spoke to CE, says, “In two of our shows (Kartik Fine Arts and Kalakshetra), we will be performing Sattriya Nritya for carnatic music. With a combination of solo and group performances we (Indira and Menaka), will have productions that will have a combination of music alone, and compositions that have bow and rhythm patterns as an experimentation with the Sattriya dance format.”
Excited about performing in the city, where she trained in bharathanatyam under the renowned Dhananjayans, Menaka says that she is looking forward to the reception that the experiment will have here. “It is after 10 long years that we are bringing Sattriya here in the Margazhi season. It is altogether a different excitement for us as artistes,” she says.
Indira is credited with her pioneering effort to take Sattriya on a larger platform. She is also the student of the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale, the founder of Kalakshetra, under whom she trained in bharathanatyam. One of the most significant transformations that Indira brought was the nuanced hand movements and abhinaya (the expression) to make Sattriya more aesthetic Recognising her efforts, the Government of India recognised Sattriya as a classical dance form in 2000.