Three solo dance performances at the Ananya Nrithyollasa displayed the artistes’ many-hued talents

Ananya Nrithyollasa, organised recently by Ananya, Bangalore, featured three solo Bharathanatyam performances.

B.N. Ananth commenced his recital with a mallari set to a ragamalika and in the adi thala. This was a scintillating array of diverse rhythms and melody. This established the dancer’s firmness of posture and stance, and clarity of movement. Variations in speed and gathis interspersed with swara passages in different ragas combined to create an absorbing opening number. The focal point of the segment was the varna in Kharaharapriya, beginning “Samaganapriya Shankara”. It was a paean to Lord Shiva. Packed with appellations and attributes that were interpreted with fluid ease, the item also incorporated complex choreography and intricate jathis, some of which had the names of Shiva woven into them. A taut control of laya and an accent on the nritta element were especially discernible in the accelerated tempo of the charana, which portrayed Shiva as “Tandava Nartana Nipuna”. A javali in Lathangi raga, presented with elegant abhinaya, brought the performance, ably supported by a live orchestra comprising the artiste’s guru Minal Prabhu (nattuvanga), Balsubrahmanya Sharma (vocal), Vivek Krishna (flute), and Gurumurthy (mridangam), to a close.

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Fifteen-year-old Ragashree Komandur Yilayavilli, dancing to recorded music, began with extracts from Shankaracharya’s ‘Rajarajeshwari Ashtakam’ choreographed with jathi and swara interludes. Exuding confidence and displaying commendable control over rhythm, the young artiste’s presentation of “En Nenjil Pallikondavan” in Kalyani raga depicted Lord Ranganatha as the presiding deity of Srirangam, besides residing in Tirupati and Udupi. It was bright and beautiful. Muthu Thandavar’s composition in Mayamalavagoula “Aadi Kondar” was performed at a fast pace. This was punctuated with some demanding pure-dance interludes; these included energetic leaps and firm poses, signifying Shiva’s dance. Youthful enthusiasm and a degree of expressiveness were evident in the ragamalika devaranama “Baro Krishnayya”, especially in brief delineations such as the mesmerizing effect of Krishna’s flute. The playful lilt in the Kathanakutuhalam thillana was translated into charming choreography that made apt use of the stage space. More performing opportunities and experience will hone the promising aspirant’s talents, and impart more depth and maturity.

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Harini Srikanth’s performance began with an obeisance to the remover of all obstacles in a brisk and vibrant “Ikshudandadhara”, set to Vitapi raga. Experience and dedication were explicit in the ensuing item, the varna beginning “Sri Krishna Kamalanatho”, set to Reethigoula raga and adi thala. The term “Devaki Nandana” was elucidated with an expansive sanchari, depicting Krishna being spirited away by Vasudeva after his birth in Kamsa’s dungeons. Episodes such as Puthana’s annihilation and the destruction of Shakataasura were effectively touched upon. “Parthasarathi” was expanded with a short representation of the Geetopadesha and the Viswarupa of Krishna. This contrasted with his description as the tormenter of the Gopis immediately thereafter. The tremendous pace of the charanam was further accentuated with exacting footwork and elaborate sequences that displayed accuracy and stamina. The devotional content and emotional potential of the final piece, the Tulasidas bhajan “Sri Ramachandra Kripalu”, were exploited in full measure with a mellow, evocative interpretation that highlighted the divinty, nobility and compassion of Rama.