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Traditional love story of Radha and Krishna

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Adapting new themes into Odissi






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Express News Service

First Published : 25 Jan 2009 10:07:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 25 Jan 2009 12:14:06 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hardly anyone could recognise her as the heroine of `Sthithi’, the Malayalam film directed by Sarath, which saw the debut of singer Unni Menon as an actor. But beautiful Nandini Ghosal has no complaints about it. ``I never expected people to recognise me. I’ve been in Kerala only for the shooting of that film. Now, I’ve been here for two days and I don’t think anybody knew me.’’ Nandini, best known for her exploits in the field of Odissi dance than her acting, is in the city to perform Odissi at the Nishagandhi Festival on Sunday evening (7.45 p.m.). `Sthithi’, best remembered for the song `Oru Chembaneer poo...’, is still fresh in Nandini’s mind. ``Recently I saw it on Youtube.’’ And she is all excited about doing another Malayalam film. ``Give me a chance to work here,’’ she said. Acting has taken a backseat for the time being, said Nandini. ``I’m busy with dance programmes and classes. And I am very selective about the films I do,’’ said Nandini, who had acted in Bengali and Hindi films too - like Char Adhyay (Hindi) by Kumar Shahani (Indian Panorama, International Film Festival of India, (1998), Kicchu Sanlap (Bengali) by Ashoke Vishwanathan (National Award and Indian Panorama 1999) and Akeli (Hindi) directed by Vinod Pandey Anya Swapna. She had started off with learning Kathak and Bharatanatyam, but devoted herself to Odissi when she found it suited her. And today she gives performances across the country and abroad, conducts classes, workshops and lecture demonstrations in Spain and the US and teaches at her school in Kolkata. And she has always been into adapting new themes into the tradition of Odissi. ``I always stick to the tradition, but have always tried new themes,’’ she said, refe rring to two dance-dramas based on Kalidasa’s works. On Sunday evening, she and her team of dancers and musicians will present a dance drama `Bhanusingher Padabali’, written and tuned by Rabindranath Tagore. It will be the first-ever presentation of the item. ``Tagore has written separate songs and I have woven that to tell the traditional love story of Radha and Krishna.’’ At the age of 15, he took the pseudonym `Bhanusingha’ and published these songs in a magazine claiming them to be from the medieval Vaishnava literature. It tells about Radha’s longing for Krishna. The night they were to meet, Chandravali, another woman, lures him. Though Radha is upset about that, she forgives him when he places the peacock feather of his crown and his flute at her feet. ``Tagore never mentioned about Chandravali,’’ she said. She also shared a few dreams. ``I want to direct one day. Also, my biggest ambition is to present dance, drama and film on one stage.’’

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