Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra presented Odissi recital by Molina Singh in association with Dancing Deer on Friday, 16th December, 2022 at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi presided by Chief Guest Padmavibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh. Capsuled into an hour of a spectacle, Molina has presented four distinct Odissi sequences woven into a solo recital, three of which were original compositions and choreographies tailor-made for Molina’s solo performance.
Opening the performance by hailing Lord Shiva – Molina with Mangalacharan, Molina showcased her rendition of Shivastakam that was originally written by Adi Shankaracharya. Stanzas meant to invoke Shiva, the one whose being defines others’ existence and gives boon to Brahma and Vishnu. Choreographed by Guru Lingaraj Pradhan the music of this 12-minute extract is based on Mishra taal and raga.
Moved onto the second segment, Pallavi that holds a significant place in the collection of Odissi repertory, Molina has demonstrated the literal illustration of the word Pallavi or ‘blooming’ with slow, extremely delicate and suave movements of the eye, neck and torso gradually building up the momentum into a crescendo in the end. This particular segment is based on Raga Rageshree composed by Guru Ramhari Das, and was choreographed by Late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
In the third segment Molina has embodied ‘Kuruyadu Nandan’ the last Astha-padi of Geet Govind written by 12th century poet Jayadeva. This segment called Abhinaya is an exposition, not only of the dance, but also of the music that accompanies it. The audience has witnessed Molina convey the poem through her expressions embodying it into a poem in-action. Conceptualised by Molina Singh, this piece has also co- choreographed by her with Guru Lingaraj Pradhan.
Culminated into the final performance depicting Moksha, the stage of finding real freedom from the cycle of rebirth which was orchestrated by music composition based on Panchabhuta gayatri mantra. In a vivacious act Molina has brought the five elements jal, vayu, agni, bhoomi and akaash together simultaneously depicted by sitar, flute, mardal, violin and manjira respectively.
Boasting an impressive ensemble of choreographers and musicians this recital was a treat for the eyes. Brought to life by choreographers Guru Lingaraj Pradhan and Molina herself and musicians like Ramesh Chandra Das at the violin, Srinibas Sathapathy creating melodies through his flute, Satchidananda Das on Mardal, vocals by Bijay Kumar Jena, Manjira by Lingaraj Pradahan and Sitar to the tunes of Prakash Chandra Mohapatra, Delhi had witnessed an enchanting evening.
A student of the legendary theatre Guru Padma Vibhushan Ebrahim Alkazi and a yogic at heart, Molina had put her heart and soul in her solo show. To imbibe Odissi not just as a dance form but also as an emotion she travelled every month from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar to learn from her Guru Lingaraj Pradhan. Expressing her sentiments about her first ever recital, an emotional Molina said, “My journey as a dancer has been unconventional. At my age I should’ve been training new Kathak students, but here I am, making my debut as an Odissi dancer. I am nervous and excited.”
She further adds, “Looking forward to sharing my love for dance with all you lovely people who have supported, motivated, encouraged me to pursue my passion. Gratitude to all my teachers, my parents, family and friends.