Surupa Sen, Bijayini Satpathy
Samyoga: Odissi duet by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy
Samyoga meaning combination; union; synthesis; conjunction of two or more heavenly bodies, symbolises the symbiotic combination of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy, quite unlike any in the artistic world. Living and working together for the past 20 years in Nrityagram, art sourced from within and outside of themselves, each brings her unique knowledge and qualities to the dance.
Samyoga is the outcome of years expended in finding the perfect balance. Of art and craft. Of strength and grace. Of technique and spirit. Confidence and vulnerability. Of a male godhead and his essential feminine divine. In search of the essence of Odissi, they dance together- compliment each other and free themselves of enforced boundaries.
Samyoga commences with Narayana Namah, verses by Shri Annamacharya sung in praise of Lord Vishnu performed by Surupa Sen. This will be followed by Rati Shringar Pallavi set to Raga Desh performed by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. A submission to the inherently lyrical form of Odissi, this composition explores the various dimensions of its abstract vocabulary.
Several abhinaya compositions follow by way of ashtapadis from the Geeta Govinda. Written in Sanskrit in the 12th century by the poet saint Jayadeva, the Gita Govinda is a romantic ballad about the immortal love of Radha and Krishna. It is a song of love and longing that reflects the Vaishnava belief that all humankind is feminine energy (Radha) constantly seeking union with the one male godhead (Krishna).
Surupa Sen depicts the Khandita nayika in the ashtapadi Yahi Madhava, Yahi Keshava. Krishna has promised to meet Radha in the forest grove. Radha waits all night long but Krishna does not come. Now it is dawn and Krishna arrives with signs of having been with another woman. Enraged, Radha asks him to go away.
The concluding choreography Vibhakta performed by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy, explores the secret of all creation which is in the union and the separation of the male and female principle. It is believed that creation begins when, with the power of yoga, the ONE splits into two and becomes Ardhanarishvara (half-man half-woman). In this form both halves live in perfect symphony - at once distinct and separate as well as harmonious and blended. Each acknowledges and celebrates the existence of the other.
Ardhanarishvara Stotram is a hymn sung by a devotee which has been interpreted as a poem, where Shiva the male principle, sings his adoration to his beloved other half. And Shivah, the female aspect, describes the glory of her magnificent counterpart. It becomes at once, a love song and a celebration of the duality of the human spirit.