It was high voltage natyam that Srekala Bharat presented.
Srekala Bharat presented a rich variety of Tamil songs for her performance for the Tamil Isai Sangam. Dressed in a maroon and gold costume she presented high voltage natyam that hailed the language with every step. A programme card that was filled with ragamaalika lyrics, brisk pace and lively nattuvangam were other niceties that went along with her dancing.
A Mallari composed by Madurai Krishnan followed by Srivilliputtur Andal Kauthuvam and the hallowed Pallandu verses ushered in the literary atmosphere. Nritta in the recital was replete with continuous movements intended to span the performing space and convey energy. While this went along with many stanzas of rhythm and prose, there were also occasions when some tranquillity would have enhanced the show.
Srekala’s interpretation of Ragamaalika varnam Samiyai Azhaithodi Vaa (Dhandayudapani Pillai) was a merry jaunt with plenty of action and verve. Vasanta, Devamanohari and Saranga were just a few ragas that conveyed the heroine’s entreaties to the friend.
The first half was performed with customary zeal, yet it was the quick gestures following the swaras that related miracles perceived by Siva’s devotees that heightened the dramatic element. Padma Raghavan’s strong nattuvangam and Kishore Kumar’s pleasant singing combined well with Dhananjayan’s mridangam and Sikhamani’s soothing violin to augment the dancing.
A sardonic dialogue with the sakhi was Srekala’s foray into padam depiction. ‘Aduvum Solluval’ in Saurashtra, a Ghanam Krishna Iyer lyric, was a complete depiction of the undercurrents of infidelity and change of fortunes. The prevalent imagery of Avvaiyar holding forth on vagaries of life with Lord Muruga was another ragamaalika-taalamalika delineation. Spirited exchanges between the young rustic lad and the old woman were performed by the dancer with pertinent body stances.
Subramania Bharati’s ‘Chinnanchiru Kiliye’ invoked in vatsalya bhava. A Balamuralikrishna thillana in Kunthalavarali wound up the cheerful dancing.