Friday Review » Dance

Updated: December 17, 2010 17:16 IST

Like a breath of fresh air

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POISE: Krithika Varsha Photo: S. R. Raghunathan
POISE: Krithika Varsha Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

The repertoire allowed Krithika Varsha to showcase varied emotions.

Krithika Varsha's fleet-footed movements and a wide-eyed exuberance caught the audience attention. . Krithika is a disciple of Ananda Shankar Jayant whose institution Shankarananda Kalakshetra in Hyderabad is known for encouraging both traditional and contemporary values in Bharatanatyam.

Krithika's dance came like a breath of fresh air – eschewing coy looks or artifice but with the energy and zeal to impress. The opening Pushpanjali and Dasavataram in ragamalika emphasised pace and emotional content.

Smooth execution

Quick cameos for the ten avatars of Vishnu that were poetically extolled by Jayadeva, were depicted neatly without raw edges. In particular, the coronation of Rama was impressive; it was rendered with spirit by the dancer. The composing also worked to the dancer's advantage and made for continuity of mood with the main lyric which followed.

Papanasam Sivan's varnam ‘Swami Naan Undan Adimai' in Nattakuranji and Adi talam allowed the dancer to paint a vast canvas of emotions relating, ranging from bhakti to sringara . The choreography explored the omniscience of Nataraja and the awe he inspires. Vibrant nattuvangam by Ananda along with the harmonious inputs from vocalist Venu Madhav, mridangam artist Renuka Prasad and violinist Saikumar on the orchestra added lustre to the dancing.

Krithika's delineation succeeded in projecting the majesty of Siva admirably aided by the many striking postures detailing Gangadhara, Ardhanareeswara and others - but missed out on stressing the pathos of the devotee. Her lithe moves were proof of stamina and good comprehension of talam for the rhythmical sections but the bouncy enthusiasm flowed over to the abhinaya. This was where there one felt the need for maturity of thought in the dancer. The devotee's anguish came across as a bare statement without insight or the deep fervour so palpably felt by the poet. Yet Krithika's sincere approach saved this piece from being merely a facile representation and gave it life.

‘Krishna Nee Begane Baro' was a delightful presentation about the pranks of Krishna. While the mother's indulgence was captured in mime adequately, some variations in this theme would have lent it a little extra edge. What fleshed out this melodious piece in Yamankalyani was her totally captivating and realistic representation of the toddler Krishna. Her response to the lilting notes in the Mohanakalyani thillana elaborated her graceful empathy in dance.

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