Friday Review » Dance

Updated: December 9, 2010 21:28 IST

Celebrating Tagore

Jaya Narayanan Pisharoty
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Grace personified: Vineetha Nedungady. Photo:K.K. Najeeb
The HIndu Grace personified: Vineetha Nedungady. Photo:K.K. Najeeb

Vinitha Nedungadi's Mohiniyattam recital paid a graceful tribute to Rabindranath Tagore.

India is celebrating two literary milestones – the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and the centenary of his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature for his ‘Geetanjali.' Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi commemorated these literary milestones with a dance and music festival in Thrissur recently. On the first day, Mohiniyattam dancer Vinitha Nedungadi paid a dance tribute to Gurudev.


Vinitha began her recital with a Ganesha stuti. The next item was ‘Mukhachalam,' a pure dance item or Nritta. This composition by Kavalam Narayana Panikkar, set to Ragamalika and Panchari tala, was choreographed by Vinitha.

Her ‘Keki' has won her rave reviews on many stages. The dancer presented the montage of a peacock under the cloudy sky. The different moods of the peacock as it waits for the rain were brilliantly portrayed by the dancer. ‘Karukare Kaarmukil,' again a composition by Kavalam Narayana Panikkar, was choreographed by the dancer herself.

Vinitha's apt choice of relevant songs from the ‘Geetanjali,' which portray the ‘atma' seeking the ‘paramatma' as a lover pining for the beloved, helped her tap the potential of Mohiniyattam in portraying the sublime emotion of love. Her choreography was based on G. Sankara Kurup's translation of Tagore's collection of songs. It was set to a composition by Kottakkal Madhu in ragamalika and talamalika. By adapting it to depict the ‘Ashtanayika' in Natyasastra, she was able to imbue the concept with a spiritual interpretation.

The last item of the evening was Irayimman Thampi's popular lullaby ‘Omana Thingal Kidavo.' This old favourite was embellished with an excellent violin prelude.

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