Bhuvaneswari Vaidyanathan put in a gritty show of nritta and subtle abhinaya to recount the birth of Krishna and the subsequent episodes.
Bhuvaneswari Vaidyanathan's recital at Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall was notable for the clarity of movements and bright quality of natyam.
This up-and-coming dancer had been chosen by the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram under its popular programme where talented dancers are selected for a series of four recitals at various centres in Tamil Nadu.
This particular recital was organised by Karthik Fine Arts.
While Bhuvaneswari's handling of the initial number extolling Lord Ganesha, Saraswati, Vishnu and Guru revealed an intuitive and accurate grasp of the essentials of the different talam featured here, it was in the stanzas of the next number – a melodious Tamil Sabdam Thillai Ambalam (choreographed by Guru Adyar Lakshman) – that the artist got into her groove.
The dancer moved beyond an initial diffidence and wholeheartedly got into the role of the heroine yearning for the majestic Siva.
This thread of involved emoting was continued in the main piece, the Kalyani varnam. ‘Gokula Bala,' penned by Bombay Rajee Narayanan, was vivacious where the many wondrous feats of Krishna were outlined sharply.
The dancer put in a gritty show of nritta and subtle abhinaya to recount the birth of Krishna and the subsequent episodes such as Govardhana Giri and Kalinga Nartanam before concluding with the Gitopadesam.
The effervescent impact of the varnam, especially in the first section, was augmented by the vibrant and capable energies of guru Suryanarayana Moorthy and the extremely skilled vocalist Kaushik Champakesan. The orchestra came together beautifully with Kannan playing the violin and Vedakrishnan wielding the mridangam. For such a peppy structure overall, one felt that some brisk arudis in the second half of the varnam would have lent punch here too.
‘Padari Varugudu' in Khambodi is a classic that spotlights a nayika's ardent desire for a tryst with Lord Muruga. This padam by Ganam Krishna Iyer in Khambodi ragam did not fare as well as the varnam. The passion in the lyric eluded the dancer who offered a plain and pleasant narrative with hastas.
The expressive eye movements that one saw in the depiction of Krishna earlier could not quite draw out the in-depth emotion of the lovelorn nayika of the padam. The final piece, Nachiyar Thirumozhi, saw the recital back on an even keel.
The adornments of the special headdress and the long colourful garland added to the feel of the legendary Andal.
For this item in ragamalika, Bhuvaneswari projected the tableau of ‘Vaaranam Ayiram' vividly.
The choreography vividly brought to life the lacy toranams, the rituals seen in weddings and aided the dancer project her positives completely.