Thursday, September 28, 2006

International Kathak Festival, Day 1: post-intermission

The headliners were awesome - especially the two Mishra brothers Mata Prasad and Ravi Shankar Mishra. They jumped on the stage (one of the guys headed in the direction of the tabalchi and in 3 tihai leaps ended almost on top of the tabla), showed many other cool tricks and succeeded all around. They had double the number of bells as anyone else on their legs. When they focused on their footwork, their tummies shook vigorously. :) Their tabla accompanist - Gopal Mishra - did a strong little solo too.

Krishna Mohan Mishra was amazing. His wife Vashwati Sen was a bit slow and out-of-shape. Krishna Mohan - son of the legendary Shambhu Maharaj - danced 'cleanly' and beautifully as advertised.

The Kathak Kendra gang - Krishna Mohan, Vashwati and Aditi - are a tad bit over-choreographed. The Benares Mishra brothers (Mata Prasad and Ravi Shankar) are rawer and way cooler.

Krishna Mohan also did an awesome jugalbandhi (sawaal-jawaab) with the tabla player. I hope Charlotte was watching. A simpler but more fun nonk-jhonk it was....

Very good day of kathak indeed. The brothers were the most exciting, followed by Krishna Mohan and Charlotte. Aditi Mangaldas would come after them. Jaiwanti and Vashwati were not quite in the same league. Saswati Sen later asked the audience if speed was all they cared about. My answer would be obviously not - but anything other than speed require the dancers to make an emotional connection with me and no one even got anywhere close to that.

Tomorrow - Birju Maharaj...

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