During the Margazhi season while performers and recitals are many, the ones that get noticed are those that offer something new without losing the depth of classicism associated with a style. A dance form needs its integrity to underpin original interpretation, letting new images fall into the fabric of time-tested ones. On that count, Sunanda Narayanan’s recital had a fulfilling impact.

Guru Rhadha’s mastery of the Vazhuvoor bani manifested itself through Sunanda’s impeccable lines, subtle expressions and graceful fluidity reflecting an inherent musicality. The rhythmic essays were neat and eye-catching.

Drawing the mind compellingly were the thematic studies, in particular, the varnam in Kanada by Ambujam Krishna. The theme was age old -- in portraying the love or the dependence of the nayika/ devotee for Krishna, its treatment exemplifying various relationships of Krishna and his different devotees made one wonder at the capabilities of the creative mind and the range of exposition.

A poem by Vairamuthu on the notion of Maram was testimony to an intelligent and captivating blend of word, song, metre and expressive dance. This had a non-mythological, global message - that of reverence or appreciation for the selflessness of the tree, Nature’s gift to mankind. The syncopated repetitions of particular phrases in this piece in Ritigowla tuned by Sujata Vijayaraghavan were both lilting and memorable. The play on words (‘Maram Thaan MaRanthaan’) in a literal and euphemistic sense exploring the latent dhwani of the lyric (‘Maram, Bodhi Maram’) again underlined the magic of original interpretation.

Hariprasad’s vocals and Guru Rhadha’s nattuvangam embellished the recital greatly.