Sobha Naidu and her students reinvent the magic of ‘Srikrishna Parijatham’.

Kuchipudi exponent Sobha Naidu and her team staged an absorbing ballet ‘Srikrishna Parijatham’ at Telugu University auditorium, last week. The late Bhujangaraya Sarma had penned this ballet originally for Vempati Chinna Satyam, culling out some parts from Narayana Teertha’s ‘Sri Krishna Leela Tarangini’ and Siddhendra’s ‘Parijatham, in which ‘Bhamakalapam’ is a part. He added his own lyrics and prose to connect them all and make it into a consummate presentation.

It is a popular story narrating how and why Krishna, assisted by Narada, subdues Satyabhama’s ego driving home to her the point that the Lord always accords more importance to Bhakti and total surrender to him. However the script has a prominent roel for Narada whose penchant creating problems andthereby quarrels , are explained in the ‘Pravesa Daruvu’.

This type of script has many dramatic twists and turns, offering great scope for performers to give out their best. Sobha Naidu is born to play the role of Bhama. The sequences where Krishna arrives to pacify Satyabhama were a treat, especially her display of mixed reactions to the Krishna standing before her. This was one crucial scene where Sridevi Mungara as Srikrishna matched every move of her with that of Sobha Naidu as Bhama. The tantrums that Sobha showed were a mix of hidden love and expressive anger underlined by Bhama’s jealousy for Rukmini, constantly directing him to go to Rukmini.

The scenes were punctuated with opportunities to present solo numbers like the way Bhama writing a letter to Krishna, a sequence we frequently see in ‘Bhamakalapam’.

The entire drama stuck to Kuchipudi idiom, striking a balance between dance and drama. While Sobha predictably simply dominated the show Sridevi Mungara as Krishna, rightly kept herself in a low key matching the situation. The dance pairing Satyabhama with Srikrishna proved an interesting finale for the major part of the show and ended with a sequence with Rukmini brought into picture in the finale. Preethi Tatambhotla figured as sublime Rukmini. Nitya Subhaprada played the mischievous Narada convincingly.

The late Mullick and Dwaram Bhavanarayana provided music score. The ballet was presented to pre-recorded music with Maahankali Mohan providing Nattuvangam to the expressive vocal support of A. Kanna Rao, M. Krishnamohan, Nitya Santoshini and Swetha Prasad. P.R.C. Sarma on mridangam, K. Saikumar on violin, V. Nagaraju on veena and Jayakumar Acharya playing tabla and providing special effects.