Kathak dancer Tamanna Tiku presents festival in Delhi

Tamanna Tiku at Nritya-Manthan (pic: Facebook)

Tamanna Tiku, a disciple of Alaknanda Kathak, organized the Nritya Manthan Performing Arts Festival 2021 in Delhi last year. Tamanna herself also performed for this festival, which was also streamed on Facebook and is still available to watch at https://www.facebook.com/TamannaTiku95/videos/1086910092066881. The festival featured 16 young artists in Kathak, Odissi and Mayurbhanj Chhau.

Tamanna won the prestigious CCRT national scholarship at 13 and completed her graduation in Kathak from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya at 17. Tamanna is also a Hindustani classical vocalist and works as an urban planner in Washington, DC.

For her performance in this festival, she presented shudh paramparik teen taal. The composition started with vilambit laya in viraha and moved to drut when the nayika meets her beloved joyously. She used paran, gat nikas, tihais, thaat aamad and bhav paksh for the composition.

Tamanna Tiku at Nritya-Manthan (pic: Facebook)

The nayika in viraha is waiting for piya. She keeps going to the door and looking around expectantly to the music of ‘Abke sawan ghar aaja’. She tells the messenger bird that if it takes her message, she will make a beak of gold for it: ‘sone ki chonch maraoon’. The nayika writes the message and ties it to the bird. She did gat nikas for the pani bharan and matki phorni leela. As the nayika unites with her lover, Tamanna chose to end in drut laya and chakkars. The bhava was good and so was the nritta. The rendering was good.

Next was the tarana in ashtamangal, which was a delight to watch. Tamanna added bhavas to the nritta for this piece. Tamanna dances very smoothly, with every move coming naturally to her.

Kevin at Nritya-Manthan (pic: Facebook)

The other dancer whose performance in this festival I watched was Odissi dancer Vinod Kevin Bachan. Kevin is a disciple of Guru Ranjana Gauhar and I have been watching him dance for years. The composition to which he performed was a lyrical Meera bhajan, ‘Jhuki aayi badariya sawan ki’. It was sung melodiously and Kevin rendered it in lyrical bhava, showing the wait, viraha, the peacock’s gait. The composition was in raag megh. He danced with great theheraav, completing every move. He depicted the nayika waiting, making a garland for her lord, making sandal paste. The lightning, damini, and the rumbling of the clouds were depicted with gestures and abhinaya. It was a great effort by the organizers to present dancers from other dance forms as well.