Shebana Devi Mangold, a disciple of Jaikishore Mosalikanti and Padmavani Mosalikanti, presented a Kuchipudi recital at Spaces, where her felicity of rhythm and grace was demonstrated clearly.
No stranger to the performing space, this native of Germany had learnt Bharatanatyam earlier from prominent teachers such as The Dhananjayans and Savitri Jagannath Rao and also performed as part of their troupe.
That evening, she began her recital with ‘Ananda Nartana Ganapatim’ in Naatai, Adi talam. This was a follow up to the traditional Kuchipudi prayer. The famous Ashtapadi in ragamaalika, ‘Rase Harimiha’ composed by Dr. Vempatti Chinna Satyam, was performed with bouncy movements that narrated Radha’s emotional state and Krishna’s dalliances with other gopikas.
In ‘Durga Tarangam’, the dancer displayed endurance in depicting the vanquishing the demon Mahishasura. This piece composed by Mosalikanti, stood out for its energetic display and the depiction of the devotional aspect with refinement.
The next piece which depicted the entry of Satyabhama in the Bhama Pravesha Daruvu had intersecting patterns of melody and rhythm. Set to tune by Vempatti in Bhairavi, Misra Chapu, the lyrics make for an enduring classic, and Shebana upheld the spirit of the song both with her agile footwork and apt facial expressions.
The orchestral support was of a high order with skilled nattuvangam by Mosalikanti, G. Srikkanth’s dynamic singing, Gurubharadwaj’s precise mridangam beats, the melodies of Muthukumar’s flute and Bhavani Prasad’s veena playing.
Shebana’s assiduous preparation under Mosalikanti for this recital was also evident in her accurate manoeuvres on the brass plate in all the tempos. The chief guest Bhagavathulu Seetharama Sarma spoke warmly of the teacher and the dancer’s sincere efforts.