Dramatic poses, good choice of pieces and subtle orchestra … Krishna Chidambaram's recital had it all.
The natyam of Krishna Chidambaram is born from a clear vision backed by maturity. A senior disciple of Prof C.V. Chandrasekhar, Krishna's recital at R. K. Swamy auditorium under the auspices of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, revealed an idiom that projected geometric lines, overall neatness and a fondness for exactitude.
The tastefully decorated performing space, articulate and mellow compering in Tamil, and the programme list blended with the cogent nattuvangam of the maestro to project an aura of vintage dance.
Vocalist Preeti Mahesh's effusive singing combined with Shikamani's violin, Devarajan's flute and Nellai D. Kannan's sharp mridangam play lent an edge to the presentation.
Full of energy
The raga Malayamarutham set the note for the events to come. Rukmini Ramani's lyric celebrating the birth of Rama was interpreted by Krishna with brisk movements.
Time constraint and changing audience preferences have consigned the jatiswaram as 'endangered'. But Krishna took up this item in Yadukulakhambodi and performed it with commendable stamina and dedication.
The choreography featured graceful movements and adavus that brought out the raga's natural bhava. That the dancer lasted not only the course of this piece but the rest of the evening without wilting, spoke well of her stamina and grit.
Amidst these positives, the well meant nature of the stage lighting became a distraction as the dancer was often plunged into dim spots.
Vivid images of Siva and his different aspects found expression in the Tamil version of Siva Ashtapadi. The melodious ragas tuned by Sitarama Sharma took off from a bright Atana as the dancer described legends beginning with the meditative form of Siva. The episode of Parvati's timely intervention that arrested the deadly poison at Siva's throat stood out for its dramatic poses. Krishna outlined the destruction of Tripura quite efficiently even as the raga Mohanam's cadences were skilfully traced by the vocalist to suit the moment. Other than occasional hints of stiffness, this ragamalika piece was performed with liveliness and formed the chunk of the recital.
The indulgence of the mother who slips into the fantasy of her infant son being Lord Rama himself was portrayed in ‘Maasil Ayodhiyil' in ragamalika and gave the dancer space to explore the emotive aspect of natyam further.
The events of the Ramayana were depicted rapidly, with precision being the watchword here. A deeper expression of select episodes would have enhanced the devotional depth of this lyric.
The Khamas javali that pictured a nayika wholly assured of the affections of her nayaka was a pleasing study of sringara.
Krishna's quick steps and teasing mood captured the woman who was confident enough to invite her beloved.
Tillana in Kanada reinforced the impression of a solid genre of classicism without compromise.