Aparna Vinod’s Bharatanatya recital was a coalescence of energy, grace and clarity of movement
The Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in association with the Department of Kannada and Culture, recently featured a Bharathanatya recital by Aparna Vinod.
The performance commenced with a pushpanjali paying obeisance to Lord Nataraja. Ganesha, Shiva’s son, the one who is worshipped by sages and gods alike, the remover of all obstacles, was propitiated next through a vibrant exposition of Madurai Muraleedharan’s composition beginning, ‘Pranavaswaroopan Srigananathan’ in Arabhi raga and adi tala. The focal point of the evening was the navaragamalika varna in adi tala composed by Dandayuthapani Pillai, ‘Samiye Azhaithodi Vaa Sakhiye’. The item was an affirmation of rhythmic exactitude and a delectable coalescence of energy, grace and clarity of movement. Talent honed by training and practice were explicit in the complex and variegated jathis and intricate sequences which were negotiated with ease, and in the elegance and precision of the mudras. Animated expression communicated the nayika’s yearning for union with Lord Shiva, worshipped by Vishnu and as beautiful as Manmatha, whose form and attributes pervade her thoughts and imagination.
‘Kadakola Tharenna Chinnave’ a Purandaradasa devaranama set to Yamunakalyani raga was the basis of an engaging exposition of little Krishna’s prank, stealing the butter churn and returning it to Yashoda only after much coaxing and cajoling. Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer’s javali in Behag raga and rupaka tala ‘Samayamide Rara’ was a light-hearted portrayal of the nayika inviting Lord Krishna into her home, with no qualms whatsoever, for a clandestine tryst.
An innate aptitude for abhinaya backed by a firm grip on technique could be exploited further with the inclusion of a piece with intense, internalised and improvised histrionic potential. The concluding thillana in Mohanakalyani raga and adi thala, a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman, was packed with a compact progression of rhythms executed with felicity and unflagging energy. Prasanna Kumar who wielded the cymbals with skill, Balasubramanya Sharma who enriched the recital with bhava-laden vocalisation, and expert instrumental support by Suryanarayana Iyer and Narayanaswamy on the flute and mridanga respectively contributed greatly to the success of the performance.