Lavanya Sankar and Purnima Kausik reaffirmed their reputation as artists par excellence at the Sankara Iyer centenary celebrations, held at the Ramar Koil, Coimbatore, this past week. As worthy disciples of their guru, late K.J. Sarasa, they displayed their rhythmic prowess. Their pleasant smiles, postures and stamina brought liveliness and cheer to the evening. Their opening number a shraddhanjali in ragamalika composed in memory of late T.S. Sankara Iyer by Mayavaram Viswanathan showed their total command over movement, rhythm and emotions.
The personification of the divine power of Sakti was energetic and expressive in the following item portrayed by Lavanya. The depiction of the goddess, Sivagamasundari in neat movements with mature abhinaya and controlled footwork was energetic. The graceful body bends and the feet aligned in a straight line for the adavus were impressive in Purnima’s portrayal of Lord Muruga, Skanda and Shanmukha. It was a delight to see the coordination between the orchestra and the artist in Lavanya’s performance in depicting the greatness of Lord Rama in ‘Brochevarevarura’ (Khamas). Purnima’s picture of the quips and pranks of Lord Krishna while stealing the butter and Yashoda’s plea to Krishna to come dancing with his ankles and bracelets for her to dish out some yummy butter to Balaram after much coaxing was an extension of herself beyond the technical niceties to communicate with the viewer. Kudos Purnima!
In sum, the virtuoso performance of both the artists was well planned and well executed with their neat movements and graceful body bends. The orchestra included Praveen (vocal), Vasantkumar (flute), Viswanathan (mridangam), Baiju (veena) and Parthasarathy (nattuvangam). The vocalist’s decibel sounded a little too loud in the higher notes.