Cleanly executed finishes marked Madurya Srikrishnan’s recital. Radhika Vairavelavan was a picture of grace and confidence.

Rasikas of natya were in for a double treat at Narada Gana Sabha where Natyarangam had organised the Bharatanatyam recitals of Madurya Srikrishnan and Radhika Vairavelavan.

Catching Madurya’s recital from ‘Nrityopaharam’ onwards, one was immediately struck with an impression of vitality and freshness. She had begun with an invocatory piece followed by a sabdam.

A disciple of Srilatha Vinod, Madurya explored the different facets of Devi in the central piece, ‘Nrityopaharam’ in Ranjini raga and Adi tala.

The choreography skilfully blended sollu kattu, swara and sahitya alternatively so that nritta and abhinaya both found equal expression. Poses of the goddess as Simhavahini, the vanquisher of the demons, helped sustain interest and appeal. An excellent araimandi and cleanly executed finishes made for good, solid nritta.

The guru’s authoritative nattuvangam and vocalist Deepu Nair’s melodious rendition added to the enjoyment. In ‘Indendu Vachitira,’ Madurya’s interpretation of the khandita nayika was one of black and white anger. Here, shades of emotions such as sarcasm and scorn would have heightened the impact. Nevertheless, the heroine’s ire for this Suruti ragam piece carried conviction especially for the words ‘Po po ra’ where the nayika sends the hero away. ‘Nrittangahaaram’, akin to the Hindolam tillana, was a buoyant affair and rounded off this talented dancer’s recital.

Grace, her hallmark

Radhika Vairavelavan is a seasoned artist who has trained under experts such as Ambika Buch and Sitarama Sarma in Bharatanatyam and nattuvangam.

A research scholar, she brings to her recital a blend of grace and pure lines.

Veteran Sitarama Sarma’s presence at the helm for nattuvangam and vocal, added weight and authenticity to the recital. Beginning with a brief misra Alarippu and a slokam on Lord Ganesha, Radhika plunged straightway into the main piece. The Varnam in Vasanta and Misra Jati Jampa talam, ‘Daani Korikenu’, was a composition of Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar.

The bhava flowed

The lengthy trikala theermanam was performed with aplomb and the bhava flowed seamlessly.

Radhika painted the picture of the heroine who pines for the Lord Srinivasa clearly.

The roles of the sakhi, the nayika and the hero were distinct identities for the audience. The words of the sahitya that addressed the hero as the lotus-eyed one, the dancer’s abhinaya as well as her stately red costume, conjured up the fragrance of Radha’s enduring love for Krishna.

The varnam was performed more than competently although some pep in the adavus in the latter half would have brightened things up.

‘Muruga Muruga’, a lyric by Periasami Thooran in Saveri, was choreographed by the dancer.

The disappointment and agony at not getting the Lord’s grace came through strongly.

The sancharis for ‘Ariyada Naan Seida’ communicated the bhakta’s bewilderment at life’s failings. Radhika’s portrayal was admirable, yet there was an element of sameness in this piece to the previous one. Both were expressions of anguish (albeit from the different angles of sringara and bhakti).

With her talent, Radhika could have tapped into diverse moods of emotion.

Thillana in Sindubhiravi was no ordinary affair. The choreography by Sitarama Sarma ensured that there was a twist.

Like the rhythmic tête-À-tête in Kathak, this piece too had sollukattu sandwiched within the song. Radhika rose to the challenge of tackling a heavy piece at the end admirably.