Ananya’s Nrithyollasa -3 had solo recitals by different streams of dance

Ananya Nrithyollasa 3 was organised in Bangalore recently by Ananya, with solo recitals of Bharathanatya, Mohiniattam and Odissi, by Prakruthi L.S., Rekha Raju and Vandana Supriya respectively, dancing to recorded music.

Prakruthi L.S. began her Bharathanatya segment with a pushpanjali set to Malayamarutham raga and adi tala, performed with light-footed elegance. Shankaracharya’s “Ardhanareeswara Stotram” set to ragamalika formed the basis of the next item, extolling the masculine power and the feminine grace manifest in the deity. The lasya and tandava aspects of dance found immaculate expression in the introductory nritta passage that alternated between the two in a series of diminishing thala cycles. They were further elaborated in the ensuing representation, and especially in the verse describing the one as “Prapancha Srishtyunmukha” and the other as “Samastha Samhaaraka”. The diverse melodies and rhythms were punctuated with the chanting of “Om”. In contrast, the following exposition of Swathi Thirunal’s “Chaliye Kunjan Mo” in Brindavana Saranga was at times light hearted, coy and playful. Though more assertive footwork would have augmented the overall appeal of the concluding thillana in Jog, set to khanda triputa thala, the exquisite composition was performed with agility and precision.

Damayanthi’s longing for Nala and her encounter with the golden swan formed the crux of the first piece performed by Mohiniattam dancer Rekha Raju, a varnam beginning “Pranapriyanaam Nalane” set to Shuddhadhanyasi raga and adi thala. While the execution of the elaborate choreography, encompassing a variety of movement and rhythmic sequences testified to assiduous training and dedication, greater internalisation of the emotive content would have served to further highlight the delicacy and intricacy of the genre. The following ashtapadi “Lalitha Lavanga” in Hindolam was comparatively lively and engaging, awakening memories of Krishna, sporting with the gopis in the bower. The final item of the performance was an evocative interpretation of the sublime hymn to Lord Ayyappa, “Harivarasanam”, with succinct mudras depicting the attributes as enshrined in the text and effectively conveying its devotional content. Clearer audio output would, however, have enhanced the impact of the fine choices in the recital and led to better audience appreciation and enjoyment.

Odissi by Vandana Supriya constituted the last component of the evening, and began with obeisance to Lord Jagannatha, and salutation to Lord Rama and Sita, served by Hanuman. The following Megha Pallavi attested to the technical prowess and consummate artistry of the dancer who negotiated the increasing complexity and tempo of the rhythms, with absolute control and finesse. Radha’s yearning for Krishna, the agony incited by the sound of his flute, and her restless search for him constituted the core of the succeeding item. The final Moksha, ending in surrender to the Mother Goddess, once again bore testimony to arduous study and practice culminating in flexibility, agility and practiced ease of execution. Though the recorded music was at times too loud, the recital, studded with firmly and perfectly held statuesque poses based on a fine sense of balance and stamina, stayed true to the sophisticated charm of the idiom.