Radhica Giri, a student of guru A. Lakshman, carries herself with elegance and poise. Also, having trained under K.J. Sarasa, there is a grace in her performance that is a hallmark of the Vazhuvoor style, though her movements are not as rounded. She has an impressive stage presence and a neat way of presenting her adavus and abhinaya. Her performance therefore, made for very pleasant viewing. Guru Lakshman’s choreography also contributed to the feeling of neatness with unhurried abhinaya and short jati korvais.
The sancharis in the varnam, ‘Ma Moham Thane Meerudhe’ focused on the nayika entreating her friend, the sakhi, to take her message to her Lord, rather than on the suffering caused by the nayika’s overwhelming love for Him, and Radhica performed this with charm. Her abhinaya for ‘Sreemanai Kaana Vendume’ also came through very well. There was some uncertainty in her footwork in the thattu mettus and in the swarams in the charanam, ‘Madhe Nee Modi Seiyyal Agumodi.’ Cutting the percussion in the sahityam (lyric) also caused the tempo of the charanam to sag a little.
Staying with the theme of the sakhi, Radhica went on to perform abhinaya to the padam ‘Yaaradi Indha Vaasalil Vandhu’, an interesting composition by Shri Dandayudhapani Pillai. The heroine asks her sakhi to check whether he has a third eye, for then it could be Shiva, or whether he has a flute in his hands for that would mean it is Krishna. But in any case, she says, she doesn’t care who it is, as long as he is carrying plenty of gifts for her!
Radhica’s abhinaya was precise and to the point and the Shanmugapriya intro by flautist B. Muthukumar was very pleasing.
The performance was rounded off with a tillana in Kapi composed by Madurai T. Srinivasan. This was, again, an elegantly performed item with clear mudras and hand positions. With guru Lakshman handling the nattuvangam, Sharanya Krishnan providing vocal accompaniment and N.K. Kesavan on the mridangam, a slightly increased pace in the performance would have created a better impact, but the overall impression was definitely one of grace and charm.