A rich display of talent made the three-day fest a memorable affair

With a pervasive feel of festive fervour, the second edition of Nataraja Music and Dance Academy's three-day Bharath Nrityotsav treated the rasikas to rich fare at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam.

In collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the event featured mostly NRI artistes besides a few foreigners. In the inaugural session, the academy honoured renowned film actress and Kuchipudi dancer Manjubhargavi with The Life Time Achievement Award marking the 50th year of her dancing career. The inaugural session featured five performances — three in Kuchipudi and two in Bharatnatyam segments.

All the five dancers—two local and the rest NRIs, sparkled in their own right in presenting the chosen numbers.

The programme commenced with local talent Sai Jyothi's Kuchipudi performance. She chose a few episodes from Ramayanam for delineation. In an elaborated treatment of the theme she presented the events Kousika Yagnam, Seetha Swayamvaram and Surpankha Garvabhangam with élan. With brisk movements and rich abhinaya she brought out the heroic nature of Rama in safeguarding the yagnam from the onslaught of demons.

From Rama slaying the demons to his martial prowess in bending the arch of Lord Siva to fulfil the condition of Swayamvara Jyothi essayed every scene to perfection. In a wide range of expressions, she dealt with different emotions ably well.

Next came, another local talent Lalit Kumar Gupta who presented Anandatandavamade Sivudu. Though the vigour and vitality of the piece taken up was missing in its intensity, his commitment for it was commendable as was recovering from fractured ankle bone. He was the only one who danced to the live orchestra on the inaugural day.

Guru Hari Ramamurthy provided nattuvangam, vocal by Subbarayudu, Phanikumar on mridangam and Achutarao on flute lent admirable support.

Having paid obeisance to Goddess Saraswati presenting Mamavatu Sri Saraswathi in raga hindola set to talam Adi, she danced Narayana Theertha's Tarangam Nandanandana with verve. Her delineation of childhood pranks of Lord Krishna in an array of Sanchari bhavas testified her grasp of its lyrical nuances as she handled it with grace.

With nritya, nritta and abhinaya aspects in perfect coalescence, another US-based danseuse Anwesha Das brought out the rich and varied charms of Bharatnatyam. It was pleasant to see her performing intricate adavus with the flourish of a maestro as she danced a bhajan ‘Thmaka Chalata' that dealt with the childhood of Lord Rama and Kousalya's motherly love. With lissome grace in gait and expression, she looked like a verse in kinetic idiom.

Her invocatory Pushpanjali was equally beautiful for its charming presentation.

The ease with which she captured the intricate details of Nayaki's mind through subtle and appealing gamut of expression in perfect sync with the foot work spoke volumes for her in depth command over the art form. She vivified the vibrancy of devotional fervor in its myriad shades in its entire splendour.