The students of Anita Guha handled the episodes from the lives of Rama and Krishna with élan.

Excellent footwork, gestures and quick execution of narratives held the interest of the audience throughout the recital - Hare Rama Hare Krishna – a thematic show by the students of Anita Guha for Kartik Fine Arts at Narada Gana Sabha. The invocatory piece in praise of Lord Guruvayurappan was vibrant.

A set of three dancers, in the form of a virutham, presented a slokam from Narayaneeyam, hailing the Lord as one who is held in awe by saints, apsaras, devas and the pious Narada. This was followed by the Krishna kavuthuvam, which was a well-balanced piece of nritta and abhinaya. It had small sancharis describing how gopans and gopikas spent their days happily dancing with Krishna.

Lakshitha and Smrithi rendered a slokam (Sringara Sruthi Nandini Viharane) from Sri Ramakarnamritham depicting the rasas of Rama. They did not bring out ‘Bhaya’ as Rama is considered to be fearless. The presentation, ‘Bhavayami Raghu Ramam,’ set the mood for the entire recital. The popular Swati Tirunal composition, projecting Rama as an epitome of good qualities, was choreographed as a varnam, by Anita. Whether it was Ahalya’s saabha vimochanam, breaking the siva dhanus, His love for Sita or war with Ravana, Pavitra Bhat (as Rama) handled all the roles with élan. Sringara rasa was brought out well by him and Janani Sethunarayanan (as Sita) in the lines, ‘Kanaka Mruga Roopa Dhara.’ Perfect was Saathvika with her gait as Kooni and as the rakshasa Ravana when she carried away the frightened Sita to Lanka.

Blowing of the conch and fantastic sound effects marked the Rama-Ravana war scene. The end of each stanza was marked by poses that were typical of the story line. The entire epic was brought out in the reverse order in the final swaras.

Krishna rasa followed Rama in the presentation. Anita Guha had knitted three songs of Oothukkadu Venkatakavi in ragas such as Thodi, Mohanam and Madhyamavati to bring out a lively conversation between Yashoda, Krishna and the gopikas – gopikas complaining about Krishna’s pranks in ‘Thaye Yasodha;’ Krishna (Kaavya) pleading ignorance in ‘Illai Illai Amma’ and Yasodha defending her son in ‘Paesade Pongaladi’ were riveting portrayals. Feeling that it was an exercise in futility the gopikas (Sruthi Krishnamurthi and Niveditha) leave the mother and son.

The sthayi bhava was bhakti in Tyagaraja’s ‘Nagomomu’ (Abheri). The students gave ample scope to bhava in the sancharis. The anupallavi – ‘Nagarajadhara! Nidu Parivaarulella,’ the Goverdhana Giri incident – portraying Indira’s anger, torrential rains and Krishna lifting the mountain, were well-executed. TheGajendra Moksham episode, which was presented to perfection, earned the young dancers many laurels.

The speedy tillana in Kaapi which followed this item had a visual appeal. Randhini Aravind’s mellifluous voice and special effects by Ram Shankar Babu lent colour to the entire show.