Keerthi Panicker's Bharatanatyam recital was reflective of her tutelage under the Dhananjayans.
A Bharatanatyam recital by Keerthi Panicker caught the attention of rasikas at Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, for the youthful exuberance of the artiste. This up-and-coming artiste is a senior disciple of the Dhananjayans of Barathakalanjali, Chennai. All the items in her recital were choreographed by her gurus themselves.
Keerthi began with a Ganapathi stuthi, a composition by Karaikudi R. Krishnamurthy. She moved on to another beautiful piece in praise of Lord Nataraja in raga Lathangi, set to Adi tala. Keerthi maintained an elegant approach in her presentation of this joyful dance, which according to myth, the Lord in Chidambaram performed at the request of the saints.
Keerthi then took up ‘Nritypahaaram' varnam ‘Bhaavayami Reghuraama' by Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. The piece, a summary of the Ramayana, was perfect in Keerthi's hands. Her movements and striking turnings had a scintillating flow and the whole story was conveyed with élan.
Following this Keerthi essayed two challenging presentations portraying two totally different emotions of nayikas. ‘Netranthi neerathile,' is a padam in raga Lathangi that portrays the nayika's fury towards Lord Murugan, whom she sees at the river bank in the company of other women. Keerthi depicted the ‘khandita' nayika in this piece, which ends with the efforts of the nayika trying to convince her beloved to come back to her.
The next piece in ragamalika is about a nayika (Radha) who is despondent over the ‘viraha' (separation) from Lord Krishna, and the nayika's conversation with her sakhi. Radha tries to draw a picture of Lord Krishna only to find that she cannot recollect his face.
These two absolute abhinaya pieces demand a lot of facial expressions and Keerthi has skilfully transported the theme to the highest level thanks to her excellent training. Her control over abhinaya in the two padams was absolute.
Keerthi concluded her recital with a tillana in raga Behag. Also included in the programme was a thematic representation of a prayer to Lord Guruvayurappan by artistes from Bharathakalanjali.
Keerthi was accompanied by Santha Dhananjayan on the nattuvangam. Buvaneswari Madhusudanan (vocal), T.N. Satheesh Kumar (mridangam), Jayaprakash (violin) and Prasanth Shenayi (flute) also accompanied.