Anurekha Ghosh - MUDRA | Anurekha Ghosh and Company presentation - Mar 17, 2010, Kolkata | WBRi Event Report

Anurekha Ghosh MUDRA Dance Program Kolkata Event ReviewApril 27, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) On 17th March 2010 at 6:30 p.m. Anurekha Ghosh presented MUDRA at Purbashree Auditorium, Bharatiyam Cultural Multiplex, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, integrating 3 forms of Dance – Chhau (from Purulia), Gotipua (from Orissa) and Kathak, creating a fascinating and visually dynamic gestural and communicative language.

Before going to details of the program, we like to introduce the eminent Dancer- Anurekha Ghosh and her company.

Anurekha Ghosh says “Anurekha Ghosh and Company is a combination of all these art forms.  With its root in Indian sub-continent, Anurekha Ghosh and Company based in UK, seeks inspiration from east and west, creating original expression which is very unique by its own nature.”

Anurekha Ghosh & Company has a global focus.  The company seeks inspiration from the east and west, and create original expression, an expression that is very unique by its own nature.  It does this by creating exciting classical and contemporary dance productions, creating a dialogue, combining movement, poetry, digitally created visuals, and challenging mixture of live classical music from Indian sub-continent, and contemporary music.  The aim of the company is to communicate the beauty and power of the very best of Indian classical dance form Kathak, and contemporary dance to international audiences in UK and abroad.  The company performs the productions in various large and middle-scale theatres, World dance festivals in UK and abroad.  The company is predominantly funded by Arts council of England.  The company has presented performances in USA, Canada, Morocco, France, Estonia, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Pakistan, India and UK.    

‘Anurekha Ghosh – Globe Trotter’ – Moving Around the world with culture and tradition

Kathak Dancer, Choreographer & Artistic Director of Anurekha Ghosh & Company (UK)

Born to a new generation of dancers and choreographers, BBC award winning Anurekha Ghosh is an inevitable name in the world of Indian (Kathak) dance. She has shown her excellence in Choreography.  Anurekha is based in United Kingdom.  Her technique and style is a combination of “tradition and modernity”.   

Anurekha has been trained in Indian classical Kathak since the age of 4 and ½  years age under Meera Majumdar and Mousumi Sen in Calcutta, India.  Anurekha moved to United Kingdom in 1992. She took further training with Shri Pratap Pawar. And finally she has received training under the tutelage of the renowned Kathak exponent, choreographer and teacher Nahid Siddiqui from Pakistan.   

She has learnt the art of Kalaripayattu, a South Indian Martial Arts at CVN Kalari, Kerala under Guruakkal C V Satyanarayanan.    

Anurekha has been experimenting with the Indian classical dance form Kathak through extensive research and development. Drawing influences from classical Kathak, Sufism, Martial arts, Indian classical music, Western Ballet, contemporary dance and music, her aim is to shift and change, going through a process of chaos and confusion and then clarifying a concept which holds relevance to the present environment. This results in creation of a dance and musical language which is spiritual, dynamic, pure, fresh, beautiful, personal, innovative and is still a blend  of ‘tradition and modernity’.    

Anurekha believes in work that is created from challenging concept, which is often addressed by her who is always seeking to find new expression, meaning and new ways to make her productions.  Although Anurekha has a strong commitment to ‘Tradition’ yet she believes in stretching the ‘Tradition’ and finding an intelligent interpretation which is very personal.  

Anurekha has performed in the major venues and Festivals in United States of America, Canada, Europe, India, Estonia, Pakistan and the UK, which includes the Royal Opera House, and Royal Festival Hall, The Place Theatre, London, Musee guimet – Paris, Festival de Hellin – Madrid, Festival of Lille 3000 – France, Festival Musicalla (Nice-France), Festival of Fes of World Sacred Musics (Morocco), Abbey of Sylvanes of World Sacred Musics (France), The Arsenal (Metz), Eesti Konzert (Estonia: Presented work in 3 cities: Tallin, Johnvi, Pamru) in collaboration with Surya tv, Maison du Livre et de la culture, Bonnieux, France, Oriental 2006 (Tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf, Germany), World Performing Arts Festival (Lahore, Pakistan), Earthquake International Festival, Decibel x.trax Festival held in Manchester in 2003 & 2005, All India Music and Dance Festival 2007, Kalaghoda Festival’09 – Mumbai, International Dance Festival 2009 – New york,  Orient India Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, World Vedic Cogress 2009 held in Germany, India Fest 2010 in Budapest, Hungary to name a few.  

In October 2009 Anurekha was invited by Her Majesty The Queen at the Buckingham Palace, London and The British Prime Minister – Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, to celebrate the extra-ordinary talent and contribution of British Asian Artists in the world.

The theme of the program was “Mudras”

Mudras in the most basic sense are hand symbols or configurations.  Mudras – gestures are not only done with hands, but also the eyes, body postures, breathing technique and mantra.  The hands correlate with the eyes, which creates a powerful gestural language, associating human emotions and feelings (RASA and BHAVA).  MUDRA is a fresh choreography, imbues with a wonderful capacity to renew and to imbibe new contemporary  influences and yet to maintain tradition and continuity, celebrating the cultural heritage and immense artistic wealth of the folk traditions of Purulia Chhau from West Bengal and Gotipua dance form from Orissa along with the strength and dynamic quality of Classical Kathak Dance.  A combination of exquisite dance with acrobatic martial arts, arresting visual design and evocative music, MUDRA continues dance maker Anurekha Ghosh’s quest to retain essential purity and integrity of the 3 dance forms, while integrating it with new innovations and contemporary insight.  

MUDRA will feature some of the exclusive musical compositions created by the BBC Award winner, World music percussionist and music director Abhishek Basu and the acclaimed British Vocalist Swati Natekar.

Concept and details of the program :

Dance is the earliest language of the human race. In the primitive ages, when there were no languages, ancient man used gestures to communicate. Even after the languages came into existence man still used gestures along with language to express himself effectively. Dance is nothing but the expression of the mind through body movements. Dance in Indian culture is believed to be a manifestation of Divinity. According to the Natya Shastra, Brahma the Supreme Creator took the recitation from the Rig Veda, the song from the Sama Veda, the Abhinayas from the Yajur Veda and created the fifth Veda the Natya Veda. 

Piece 1: Devadasi – Women of Pride

Devadasi originally described a Hindu religious practice in which girls were "married" and dedicated to a deity (deva or devi). In addition to taking care of the temple and performing rituals, they learned and practiced Classical dance and other classical Indian arts traditions and enjoyed a high social status.


Movements of perfect harmony and rhythm,
eyes of black passion embracing the moon,
hands of mudras nurturing calmly the deities,
she dances and the daffodils bend and bloom.

Her silk saree caresses softly my eyes and soul
as she moves beautifully her lovely hands and feet
awakening the surprised rainbows and pink clouds,
unveiling her delicate world so tender and complete.

A devotional sloka carries me away to the dreamy wind
as I savour silently the richness of sacred life and art,
dancing together with my sister devadasi, words of
affection blossom into love deep inside my divine heart.

Grace and purity hold hands in celestial dance,
My fire-dance of devotion and faith, my everlasting flame
as we dance harmoniously celebrating the eternal universe
and God whispers peacefully in heavens my singular name.

- Choreographed by Anurekha Ghosh

Piece 2: Salutation

In the age of global uncertainity the piece SALUTATION (musically named as SALVATION IN HARMONY) asks questions about the nature of Harmony within one self and around thy self, exploring the meeting point between the mudras of South Indian martial arts – Kalaripayattu and yoga.

In one salutation to thee, my God, 
let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet. 
Like a rain-cloud of July 
hung low with its burden of unshed showers 
let all my mind bend down at thy feet in one salutation to thee. 
Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current 
and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee. 
Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day 
back to their mountain nests 
let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home
in one salutation to thee.

- Choreographed by Anurekha Ghosh, Music Composed by Abhishek Basu

Section 2: TRADITION (presenting the pure form of each dance style)

AAMAAD – Revelation

The classical dance from North India derived it’s name from the Kathakars or professional story tellers attached to the temples who recited verses and stories with explanatory gestures or Mudras and music.

Kathak embodies 3 aspects of classical dance – Bhava or mood, Raga or melody and Tala or rhythmic timing.  Kathak consists of devising and executing complex rhythmic patters of time beats.  Kathak is filled with rich and dramatic mime or Abhinaya.

The next presentation is a Tarana – a composition is based upon abstract / meaningless syllables, portraying the essence of the Moughul Darbar through it’s rhythmic and melodic richness.

"What happens when you dance totally? The dancer disappears in a total dance. the dancer dissolves; only the dancing remains. When there is only dancing and no dancer, this is the ultimate of meditation - the taste of nectar, bliss, God, truth, ecstasy, freedom, freedom from the ego, freedom from the doer. And when there is no ego, no doer, and the dance is going on and there is no dancer, a great witnessing arises, a great awareness like a cloud of light surrounding you." - Osho

No more my heart shall sob or grieve.
My days and nights dissolve in God's own Light.
Above the toil of life my soul
Is a Bird of Fire winging the Infinite.

Drunk deep of Immortality,
I am the root and boughs of a teeming vast.
My Form I have known and realised.
The Supreme and I are one; all we outlast.


Odissi is not merely a dance form. It is a synthesis of beauty, grace, rhythm, melody, spirituality and devotion. It provides a feast for the eyes, music for the ears and succor for the soul. Through this dance, the danseuse pays obeisance to the Lord in all his myriad manifestations. In essence this unique dance form is a tribute to divinity.

Pallavi, literally means “to elaborate”.  It is the softest and glamorous segment of Odissi Dance.  As a bud blooms into a flower, a Pallavi slowly unravels the magical progression of the tempo in rhythm, while different dance phrases gets added on.


Emerging from martial practice the Purulia Chhau dance is epical in content, and is based on various episodes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Sometimes certain episodes of the Puranas are also used. The dominant rasas are Vira and Rudra. In the end, generally, forces of evil are vanquished and the righteous triumphs. A distinctive feature of this dance is the acrobatic use of the body and the intricately crafted masks worn by the dancers. Powerful movements, immense concentration and release of energy are the other features of this dance.

Section 3 - Katha o Kathakars

THUMRI – Tero Kuwar Kaniya

Live on stage announcement (Anurekha announces on stage)

ORISSI (Abhinaya)

The Sufi Story – DIWANA

“I have become you and you have become me,
In my body is your soul
May none say hereafter that you and me are different things”


Diwana portrays layers of love that may apply to every human being who rejoice and meditate on the fundamental mystery of life.  A sensuous, passionate and intimate conversation driven by the deepest desires of the heart, whispering the sweet vows of love – emphasizing on ‘Oneness’ – it is less of the place and time and more of the direct union of the spirit and soul.

The choreography uses the versatile and powerful idiom of Kathak, infusing it with modern sensibilities and contemporary insight.

This piece is choreographed by Anurekha Ghosh and the music is composed by Abhishek Basu.

CHHAU – Mohisasur Mordini

One of the most popular presentations of the Purulia Chhau Dance is Mahisasur Mardini. Oppressed by the tyranny of the Mahisasura, the Gods pray to Goddess Adyashakti Mahamaya who takes the form of Goddess Durga, Durgatinashini and after a fierce battle with Asura, finally slays him.

Section 4: Present Time


In the past it appears as if things were less complicated, more connected to the earth and the seasons.  Now, the blossom comes and no-one is there to witness it.

We are no longer at one with the World.

Before we know it, the seasons have come and gone.

Our cycle of continous activity creates deadlines and schedules, targets and goals, that crowd our minds with endless possibilities.

The past and future collide – creating endless opportunities….but Obsessed by the future – haunted by the past.

Band Nrutya


Finale: The song of pilgrimage – MANTRA



Ritushri Chaudhuri



Anurekha Ghosh



Introduce Guru Lingaraj Barik


Guru Lingaraj Barik




Babua da

Graphics Designing

Deepankar Dutta Roy

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