Friday Review » Dance

Updated: August 4, 2011 20:33 IST

An impressive performance

Gudipoodi Srihari
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T.S. Subharajeswari. Photo: Special Arrangement
T.S. Subharajeswari. Photo: Special Arrangement

Young T.S. Subharajeswari popularly known by her pet name ‘Muvva' christened by Guru, Nataraja Ramakrishna at her birth, her mother Venkateswari Devi being the disciple of Ramakrishna; gave an Andhra Natyam show at Thyagaraya Ganasabha last week. She is the disciple of Kala Krishna. Her charming looks and figure aptly suited the dance idiom. This was presented under auspices of Jolly Friends Cultural Association. All the numbers she presented were traditional, practiced by older generations of Devadasis living in coastal districts of Andhra, bearing a different identity distinct from Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam.

Muvva opened her show with traditional Vinayaka Kautvam in Sankarabharanam, entering stage holding a vessel with a lighted lamp in her palm, called Kumbha Harati. This was part of Aradhana Nrityas (temple dances) of olden days. It was set in Vinayaka Tala, depicting obeisance to devatas. The next number was Ganga Taranga Ramaneeya Jataa Kalapam a slokam set in Kanada. Muvva's abhinaya part showed how Lord Siva locks Ganga in his hair arresting its fall that may destroy people and calmed its rush to quench the thirst of lands and people. This ended with the depiction of the Sivalinga in Varansi. This was part of Sankaracharya's slokas, Bhaje Viswanatham. The next number Tripurasura Samharam set in Kambhoji in Misrachapu talam turned out to be Muvva's major number. The demon Tripurasura earning boon of not to be killed by any God, Lord Siva has to take the shape of Ardha Nareeswara (half woman and half man) to successfully annihilate the demon using earth as his chariot, Surya and Chandra as its wheels, the four Vedas as the horses, Mahavishnu as his arrow, Vasuki, the big snake becoming its string and Brahma as his charioteer. This was written by Kasinatha Kavi, an ancient poet. The pallavi was Dharani Radhamai, Deva Janulandaru, written in Tanjore styled Telugu of those days. Muvva then went for Muddugare Yasoda a kirtana of Annamacharya. In describing how the Lord in cradle was compared to the nine gems was a treat in Muvva's abhinaya.

Dasavataralu in raga Mohana with the Avatara presentation was set in Talamalika suiting different moods of the incarnation theme. This was a typical exhibition of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The jatis added by Nataraja Ramakrishna and Kalakrishna glorified the number further, suiting times. Later the dancer took up a set of Meerabhajan Ghunghru Bandha Meera Natachre in Desh— all projected rightly the content of the lyrical text.

Kalakrishna conducted the show with good Nattuvangam to the vocal support of Sarada Reddi and Balaramamurthi on Mridangam. Duttatreya on flute, Subbalakshmi on Violin and Janardan on Ghatam, enhanced musical impact. On the occasion an award named in memory of Nataraja Ramakrishna was presented to Andhra Natyacharya Devayya.

Keywords: classical dance

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