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Updated: December 1, 2011 19:03 IST

Khamas steals the show

Vidya Saranyan
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Amrita Bewoor performing bharatha natyam recital at Sivagami Pethachi auditorium in Chennai on Thursday. Photo : R_Ravindran.
Amrita Bewoor performing bharatha natyam recital at Sivagami Pethachi auditorium in Chennai on Thursday. Photo : R_Ravindran.

The Thanjavur Quartet’s famous work gave Amrita ample scope for picturesque depictions.

Amrita Bewoor Sen – Disciple of Guru Kalyanasundaram Pillai

Dr. Amrita Bewoor Sen’s dance recital at the Smt. Sivagami Petachi auditorium demonstrated a spontaneous zeal for the art tempered by diligent grooming under the renowned doyens of the Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir Bombay – Mythili Kalayanasundaram and Guru Kalyanasundaram. She is involved in two public health organisations in New Delhi for maternal and child care for the less privileged and after her arangetram earlier this year has continued honing her skills under the Gurus.

In her performance one could discern an aptitude for abhinaya as well as a delightful affinity for the underlying grandeur of this dance style. Expansive body lines, poses that kindled in one’s imagination the statues in temple lore, sedate presentation of ideas were the highlights of this performance. The simple depiction of Ganesa that unfolded in the introductory number communicated the essentials deftly.

Following the traditional margam route the dancer then went on to perform a Jatiswaram in Vasanta and Tisra-Ekam where pure dance sequences were presented against the backdrop of defined swara lines. The couple of uncertainties that cropped up in this number revealed that the dancer has still some way to go in mastering rhythmical calculations that flow along with music. The Shabdam that came next was an excerpt from Kamba Ramayanam (raagamaalika and Misra Chaapu) with specific references to the descent of Lord Narayana as Rama. The powerful Tamil words and the dancer’s grasp of the subtext added to the rasika’s delight. Lord Narayana taking a leisurely walk across stage to indicate his hesitation was indeed a relaxed approach in composing not often seen today. This was a harmonious number which served to usher in the varnam, the main piece.

‘Sami Nee Rammanave’ in Khamas and Adi a famous work of the Thanjavur Quartet gave Amrita ample scope for picturesque depictions. Lord Siva’s destruction of the demon in the process teaching a lesson to the sages at Darukavanam were presented with fluidity. The dancer employed a single economical movement that conveyed the victory over Gajamukhasuran better than several swoops or leaps would. With such eye-catching visuals, Guru Kalyanasundaram wielding the cymbals and the melodious vocal rendering by Vidya Harikrishna the Khamas varnam was the evening’s best.

Rasakreedai from ‘Narayaneeyam’ in ragamaalika and Adi related the moods of bhakti and awe where the dancer also expanded on the poet Narayana Bhattadri’s distress and plea for succour to Lord Guruvayurappan.

‘Solla Vallayo Kiliye’ another raagamalika bouquet by Subhramanya Bharati was where the dancer cajoled her pet parrot. The dancer’s entreaties to the clever bird were done in diverse ways that engaged the rasika’s attention. A Thillana in Hindolam enfolded the dancer’s quick steps with ease.

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Vidya SaranyanDecember 27, 2011

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