GANJAM glitters and triumphs on its second season!
When Sutra was ‘chased’ out of our proposed booking at Istana Budaya (initially sanctioned by the Director himself!), we did not realise that it would be a blessing in disguise! The changes created for the DBKL season to accommodate it’s flat stage, prepared us for the rest of the arduous tour ahead which took in Penang, AIMST University (Sg Petani), New Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Berhampur and finally Ujjain at the Mahakumbha Mela! We could only performed with 9 dancers when we toured India instead of the twenty-over at Istana Budaya (and just a little lesser at DBKL). However, when the 9 dancers performed GANJAM with live music (after just one rehearsal) to the dance aficionados in Delhi, eminent critic Leela Venkataraman was suitably impressed that the GANJAM had retained all that it had achieved at its stunning world premiere in Istana Budaya in 2015 and more! The music was even better!
Fundamentally, GANJAM created the right impact with the audience wherever it was performed. Kudos to all our collaborators! – Guru Gajendra Panda, Dr. Dinanath Pathy, Pandit Gopal Chandra Panda, Sivarajah Natarajan, the musicians and dancers and thank you to all our Malaysia and India sponsors. In Bhubaneswar, we have picked up another stake-holder – Pandit Kedar Misra, who claimed that the script of Yogini-Moksha was conceived by him, unbeknownst to us. Sutra, in the embracing spirit of GANJAM then welcome Kedar Ji to the fraternity of collaborators of GANJAM. We are happy that the production has such a bevy of eminent and distinguished collaborators.
As a concept, the collaboration of artistic direction, dance and music composition, lighting design, script and video-projection worked in a resonant synergy towards a crescendo of a unique dance-theatre manifestation of the first order. The dancers of Sutra had to be singled out for their great team dancing and Sivarajah’s lighting and projection gave GANJAM the impact of the monumentality of a superbly crafted dance-theatre. It must also be mentioned that GANJAM’s music composition (Pandit Gopal Panda) was so evocative that melodies lingered long after the performance. Dr. Dinanath Pathy, who provided the research material for GANJAM, was inspired to publish a beautiful book Dancing Ganjam, which touched on the cultural historicity of this culture-rich district. It would be odissi’s lost if it does not include Ganjam’s rich heritage of dance, music and literature in the future development of contemporary odissi.
The tour was not easy – as there were many administrative hitches. In fact, we never realised that the tour would land us in Ujjain during the sacred month of Simhastha Mahakumbha Mela (thank you, ICCR)! However, we managed to overcome administrative shortcomings and obstacles and emerged stronger and triumphant! We hope this is just a start to an even brighter future for GANJAM. The production is definitely an eye-opener! It deserves to be seen in many more cities!
Artistic Director, GANJAM