Brisk nritta, sharp footwork and excellent timing by the students of Kishore Mosalikanti were arresting.
Kishore Mosalikanti's ‘Nritya Maalika' at Kalakshetra featured racy compositions and well-finished group choreographies that underlined the Kuchipudi dancer-teacher's talent in training students and fashioning group presentations. Kishore is a student of the legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam and he continues his guru's sharp-technique and style. Some of the choreographies that evening were his guru's (‘Ksheera Sagara Sayana' and Sivashtakam).
The recital banked on the high standards of Kishore's students (Amrita Lahiri, Divyasena, Sandhya Raju, Shobha Korambik and Padmavani Kishore). They were truly an asset with their brisk nritta, sharp footwork, excellent timing and flawless co-ordination.
Ode to Siva
The best in visualisation were the ode to Siva (Sri Krishna Leela Tarangini, ragamalika) that took the place of the traditional Tarangam and the opening song of Tyagaraja's ‘Nauka Charithram' (‘Sringarinchukoni Vedaliri,' Surutti). Ganga's descent to Earth was an especially arresting visual with Ganga, Bhagiratha and Siva participating. The pancha bhootas were also presented in an interesting manner by each of the five dancers on the diagonal.
The excited gopis getting ready to meet Krishna on the banks of the Yamuna in the Surutti composition was made more interesting by the switches between the characters and the narrators that the dancers made alternately.
The solo was performed by Kishore (Tyagaraja's ‘Ksheera..' in Devagandhari) in which the saint-composer appeals to Rama for succour citing examples of devotees whom He helped like Gajendra, Draupadi, Ramadasa and Sita. The dancer enhanced the piece with excellent role-play and made quick work of the mythological backgrounds without losing pace or energy. In one segment, he accomplished the delineation from Sita's abduction to Ravana's death in one long breath so to speak!
Kishore's nritta on the other hand was not as impressive. He has a self-conscious air that restricts his style. A stiffer torso will also help him capture some of his Guru's majestic gait.
The fast-paced compositions required attentive percussionists. Adit Narayan (nattuvangam) was a willing anchor who instinctively knew the choreographies well-enough to orchestrate the variations in rhythm. B.P. Haribabu (mridangam) with his experience used tonal and stress variations to add drama. The musicians – Kuldeep Pai (vocal), B. Muthukumar (flute) and
T. Bhavaniprasad (veena) – were as adept. The instrumentalists provided inspiring melody in the Devagandhari and in the Surutti pieces while the vocalist showed his true mettle in the challenging Kalyani thillana (Adi, Dr. Balamurali Krishna). This last piece was the most spectacular finale.