The rivalry of Rukmini and Satyabhama over Lord Krishna was brought out effectively in Priya Karthikeyan's ‘Sri Krishna Parijatham’.
‘Sri Krishna Parijatham', a dance drama in Tamil choreographed by Priya Karthikeyan, was an enthusiastic effort that roped in the energy of youthful talent to re-create the legend of the Parijatha flower with humour and devotion.
The simple story of the rivalry between Satyabhama and Rukmini over Krishna had freshness as interpreted by Priya's students. While there were no innovative twists or great suspense, the choreography presented the main ingredients fruitfully.
The show was organised by Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha and Sri Lalithakala Academy, Mysore, at Narada Gana Sabha.
Good casting meant that the main roles carried conviction. Crisp theermanams positioned within major scenes added weight to the performance.
An important component of a dance drama is the get-up of the main characters which got its due here, with care taken to coordinate pleasing colours for the group. Small details in costume such as the difference in the crowns of the two wives shored up the visual part. The abhinaya was age appropriate and while not overly sophisticated, was true to life. Priya's nattuvangam and Girija Ramaswamy's singing served to highlight the narrative and added to the buoyant mood of the production.
The opening scenes saw the mischievous intentions of sage Narada and then shifted focus to Rukmini.
A brief character outline established her serene nature and devotion to Krishna. The group dance followed by the scenes where Narada egged Krishna to present the exquisite Parijatham flower to Rukmini were sprightly. Here as well as in the rest of the show, the mischievous nature of Krishna was subtly brought out and supplemented the sthayi bhava. The accent on Sathyabhama's costume and role were understandable because her role was pivotal. Accordingly, her entry with the tharaiseeelai underscored her status as a favourite of Krishna, yet subsequently her personality revealed her to be a rather irritable woman. Notwithstanding this, the intentions of Narada emerged clear the moment the sakhis, much to Satyabhama's dismay, brought the news that the Parijatha tree flowered to benefit Rukmini. While the tantrums of Satyabhama and her chasing away of Krishna were depicted well, the remorse and her change of heart could have been stressed further, especially since the Thulabaram of Krishna was left out to accommodate the main story.
What lent continuity here was the realistic portrayal by the dancers. The brisk finale was a tableau that created a picture of liveliness overall.