The experience of expressions

She began learning classical dance when she was eight while in Canada, and after performing in Canada and Delhi for many years, Dali Basu is now in Mumbai for her first solo performance, this Saturday.

The performance is titled Rasanubhuti, which she explains means the experience of expressions. “I will be opening with a Saraswati vandana and then move on to an abhinaya piece in Oriya language. It is about mother Yashoda’s adoration for her son Krishna,” explains 31-year-old Basu.

Odissi dancer Dali Basu

Basu started by learning Bharatanatyam and she later switched to Odissi. Having been brought up in Canada, she would perform to audiences there and she says the response was great. She moved to India in 2004.

Her style of performance focuses more on the abhinaya. “My style is different from Kelucharan Mohapatra’s. I follow Mayadhar Raut’s style where there is a difference in the use of the body. Kelucharan’s style focuses more on rhythm and beat while Mayadhar Raut’s style is more about the expressions,” explains Basu.

Basu will also be performing a Pallavi, which is a pure dance piece and an abhinaya based on poetry taken from Gita Govinda, the celebrated lyrical poem written by the 12th century poet Jayadev. The piece is about Radha, when she finds out that Krishna had been with another woman. The programme will come to a close with a Moksha — the concluding piece of an Odissi performance. “I have never performed this particular sequence. I am performing some of my favourite geetas and I am really looking forward to it,” she says.

On whether Mumbai audiences will be a different proposition, she shares, “I guess the Indian audience understands more. So, one does not have to explain extensively. Otherwise performing here and abroad is not very different,” she states adding, “I am really looking forward to performing in Mumbai.”¬†Dali is currently living in Mumbai and is working on a research project with a fellowship awarded by the Ontario Arts Council, Chalmers Foundation.

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