The dance portion of the ‘Andhri' festival at Ravindra Bharathi showcased eclectic performances.
The Parampara Series, a tradition, maintained by noted Kuchipudi dancer-couple Raja and his wife Radha was held here under the name ‘Andhri Festival'. Held at Ravindra Bharathi, last week, the festival featured noted dancers of the country.
Raja and Radha's Kuchipudi performance was the inaugural show, with their daughters Yamini and Bhavana and a few students joining them, and Kausalya Reddy conducted their show. Raja announced he was commencing the show with traditional numbers of Kuchipudi, but set in Hindi language. For this purpose they added a Hindustani vocalist Aditi Sarma to the ensemble. Sangeetha Kala and Rajyalakshmi were the Carnatic singers. The Hindustani touch did not go well with these numbers compared to when presented in Telugu. There was also a Tulasidas Bhajan set in Kuchipudi style. In other numbers the couple looked agile, energetic and were perfect in their abhinaya and nritta.
Yamini Reddy's dance for the number Narasimhavataram that came next was simply the best of the whole show. The script, according to Raja Reddy, is ancient. It was well articulated. The lyric was set in Kamalamanohari to Khandatriputa beat that suits the ferocity of Narasimhavatara. The content was graphically described in clear mime, never stepping out of the Kuchipudi idiom, by young Yamini.
Thai raga tillana of Balamurali was presented by Yamini, Bhavana, Anupama, Aiswarya, Pernia, Ashwati, Neha and Krishna. This was presented well with well set group formations and nritta distributed among them.
Nirupama and Rajendra, Kathak artiste duo, are a typical youngsters with good looks and progressive outlook. Their urge to do something new and challenging could be seen in their repertoire of a mix of ancient and modern. Their dance was for pre-recorded music. Gam Gam Ganpathi an invocation to the remover of obstacles was a good musical composition neatly and traditionally presented. Meera bhajan titled as Meera Madhuri the composition set in Khamas, was also a bit inventive in approach, by keeping the idol of Krishna at one end and the dancers interpreting the composition in Khamas into abhinaya. Footwork was moderate. The masterpiece was the modern number curiously titled as Mushti. Indeed this number was the highlight of their repertoire and the whole dance section of the festival.
They started off as mechanised dolls. They wore costumes in red and black. The theme, as they conceived, was about human desire for power.
It was a highly animated show punctuated with creative Kathak movements. The rendition part had some Konakkol (oral percussion), which had a thrilling end. This was specially choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia for the duo.
Slowing the pace
Neena Prasad's Mohiniattam on the last evening was a pleasing and slow paced presentation. She started with a Chollukattu in Gambheeranata in Misrachapu Jhampe Talam leading to Ganesha Stuti. At the line Ganapati Sankata Hara she gave a variegated picture of Ganesha's benevolence. The show piece number was Swati Tirunal's Pankajakshi. Jayadeva's Ashtapadi number Ratisukha Sare closed her show. Madhavan Nambudri conducted. He was also the principle singer.