Danced and scattered
In frenzied song
Till finally he caught me by my long tresses
and kissed me
with the yearning of eternal union.
Some words from the poetry paired with dance and song in the U.S. premiere of Songs of Love and Longing at Baryshnikov Arts Center (May 1-2) by Nrityagram Dance Ensemble’s Surupa Sen + Bijayini Satpathy. Bar none, these ladies are beautiful performers and their command of labyrinthine movement is what drives their art. In solos and duets Sen and Satpathy draw from the Gita Govinda “…a 12th century ballad of immortal love…[through]… Odissi, one of India's classical dance forms,” and pull at our hearts. The splendor of their brightly colored costumes, the soft sounds from the bells on their waist, ankles and wrists, plus the stories they tell with their eyes and hands are gripping. They are gentle in the way they glide across the floor, the delicious way they arch their backs, balance on one leg, and interlock their bodies (wrapping curves with more curves). They are stoical in the way they stomp out rhythms with their feet – Kathak – yet sensuous and perfectly in sync. The musicians: Jateen Sahu, Sibasankar Satapathy, Sanjib Kunda and Parshuram Das seated along one wall, also draw the eye and focus the ears throughout this dreamlike evening. More please!