New Delhi: Sattriya art lovers in New Delhi and Guwahati would soon witness an authentic and remarkable performance of Sattriya Culture in Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi on 11th March 2023 and Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir in Guwahati on 26th March 2023.
Through the organisation, Pratishruti Foundation, Prateesha has launched a project titled “Preservation of Sattriya Culture Mission” to address situations arising from the present scenario of Sattriya Art. This dance and drama style which was once practiced and preserved by male monks in the Sattra-s in Assam, has now gained immense popularity among all. Many changes can be seen, some of which are, unfortunately, detrimental to the sacredness of the style. Commercialisation and the eagerness to gain instant popularity has become a bane on the survival of this art form in its true and authentic form.
Prateesha, an acclaimed classical dancer and founder of the non-profit organisation, Pratishruti Foundation believes, “Sattriya dance has undergone many changes which have left the original style far behind. Therefore, re-creating the costume has been a major step in preserving the authenticity of the style. If correct steps are taken to preserve the original beauty of a tradition, none of the ancient arts would be lost. Much more can be built on the strong foundation of the tradition. It is necessary to understand that all Indian arts are built on a philosophy and at any cost or at any point of time this should not be forgotten, lest any art form will remain only as mere entertainment.”
This production premiered at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA, on 5th March. In this initiative, Prateesha has conceptualized and choreographed the dance-drama “RasaKeli” which brings back the authentic music, costume and even instruments like SARINDA which was once used by Shankardeva, centuries back. The name RasaKeli has been taken from the “Nandigita” of the Keli Gopal play. The music has been resourced from the original music of the play (in the Kamalabari style) along with the music of Sattriya Ojapali and Kirtan recitation as it was done in the Sattras. The Sanskrit shlokas which play a major part in the play Keli Gopal, are never used in the play’s performance have also been introduced in RasaKeli. Regarding the costume, a great effort has been taken to re-create the original costume along with jewellery while preserving the authenticity of the style.