The annual dance festival organised by Pollachi Tamizhisai Sangam was a visual and rhythmic treat for the rasikas. Odissi, the traditional dance form from Orissa, comprising tribangis, mudras and statuesque poses, seems to have earned a permanent slot in the annual dance festival organised by Pollachi Tamizhisai Sangam.

The students of Guru Pitambar Biswal of the Guru Deba Prasad Das gharana offered a sample of genuine Odissi, with Mangalacharan Dasa Avatara Mohana Pallavi, Suryashtakam and Balagopala Ashtakam concluding it with Moksha. The Sankarabharanam pallavi presented by Raseswari Mohanty and Sangya Sucharita Nayak was full of quickly changing eye movements and intricate footwork. They also participated in the group performance along with Nirupama Samanth, Amrita Pattasani, Shipla Kak and Dibyashree Panda.

Watching them perform Moksha in pure ecstasy with the accompaniment of percussion instruments alone (mardal and pakhawaj) was a thrilling experience. Jashobanta Parhi’s vocal support along with Shibananda Barik on the mardal, Nirmal Nayak on the violin, Pitambar Swain on the flute and Guru Pitambar Biswal on the manjeera created an authentic mood for this wonderful dance form from Orissa.

Flavour of Kerala

Mohiniyattom, the typical Kerala dance was presented not by a dancer from Kerala, but by Rashi Dave from Raipur. Her lovely costumes and gentle swaying movements filled the stage with the fragrance and flavour of Kerala. The songs, ‘Karuna Cheyvaan Endhu Sripathe Sri Naraayanaa’ and ‘Omana Thingal Kidaavo’ were immensely appealing. Guru G. Ratesh Babu took care of the nattuvangam and vocal support.

Orchestral support was given by Palakkad Subbaraman on the violin, Venkatesh on the mridangam and Raj Chandar on the flute.

Archana Narayanamurthy maintained her amazing energy level throughout her live-wire performance. ‘Sivagamasundari’ in Jaganmohini by Gopalakrishna Bharathiar was full of devotion ‘Mogamaana En Meedhu’ (Bhairavi varnam, Thanjavur Quartet) was impressive with interesting choreography and lively jatis. ‘Maadu Meiykkum Kanne’ was an instant hit (it was Gokulashtami, that day). Randhini’s vocal support was filled with the appropriate bhava while Guru Pandanallur Pandian’s nattuvangam was lively and brisk. Srinivasan on the violin and Nagai Narayanan on the mridangam were very good.

Interesting choreography

The highlight of the traditional Bharatanatyam presented by Mrinalini Thyagarajan, Adrika Subhash and Janani from Chennai was the elaborate Dhanyasi varnam, ‘Nee Indha Maayam’ with vivid sancharis. Mrinalini’s choreography was interesting and original. Kirthi Udhayakumar (nattuvangam), Balaji (vocal support), Melattur Lakshmi Narasimhan (mridangam) and Ravishankar (violin) comprised the orchestra.

Sheela Unnikrishnan’s team presented ‘Bhavayami Raghuramam’ by Swathi Tirunal as the main piece. Varsha Balabharathi, Suvasani Kannan, Krithika Muralishankar and Bhairavi Venkatesan depicted scenes from the Ramayana with vivid and impressive sancharis. ‘Neeyaada Naanaaduven’ was a visual and rhythmic treat as Siva danced for the jatis and Parvati danced for the swaras challenging each other.

Oothukkadu Kavi’s thillana in Kurinji with sparkling shuddha nritya pieces was performed as Perani Nrithyam.

The orchestra comprising Rajeswari Kumar (vocal support), Ganeshan (mridangam) and M.S. Kannan (violin) was very supportive.

The dance festival concluded with the grand dance ballet, ‘Arupadai veedu’ by the students of Nrithya Sudha, Chennai. Appropriate episodes were presented with minute details for each of the six important abodes of Lord Muruga.

Besides choreographing the ballet, guru Sudha Vijayakumar, did the roles of the charming Valli and the wise old Avvayar. Her husband Vijayakumar donned important male roles commendably.

P.R.Venkatasubramanyam’s meaningful lyrics were brought to life by Venugopal’s excellent singing.

G. Ganesh on the mridangam took care of the rhythmic aspect.