Lasyotsavam, which featured different dance forms of India, had experienced dancers who skilfully highlighted the traditional and the innovative in their performances.

Lasyotsavam, a dance fete in Thrissur, showcased different dance forms of India performed by leading exponents.

Kathak exponent Rajshree Shirke presented items from a traditional Kathak repertoire. She employed the Kathakaar narrative to relate the ‘Raavan-Mandodri Samwaad’. She used her familiarity with the medium of theatre to embellish her dance style.

Geeta Chandran is a consummate artiste in terms of technique and innovation. Her invocation, ‘Govinda Vandanam’, was based on Haveli poetry. She described Krishna as Parthasarathy, Ananthapadmanabha and Venugopala. The depiction of Krishna driving his dear friend’s chariot and advising him to fight bravely was impressive. The portrayal of Jagatguru, who carries us across the sea of troubles, was touching. ‘Amba Shambhavi’, a slokam about the Mother Goddess, set to ragamalika, showed the goddess as mother, daughter and a repository of infinite love. But when angered, she has the power to combat evil, both within us and in the world around us. The quick changes of bhava and body stance as Geeta went through the different forms of the Goddess, Aparna, Uma, Parvati, Bhairavi, and Jwalamukhi are proof of her artistic skill. The Navaraga varnam composed by Dandayudhapani Pillai, ‘Swamiye Azhaithodi Vaa, Sakhi...’, is a challenging piece, making immense demands of the dancer, both physically and in terms of abhinaya. Geeta did justice to both aspects. Mangalam was taken from the Sankeertana Sampradaya of Krishna Bhakti.

An Odissi performance by Pitambar Biswal and group began with a Mangalacharan dedicated to Lord Shiva. The young dancers showcased the graceful moves and postures of Odissi. ‘Suryashtakam’ was set appropriately in the Sun Temple at Konark. Through synchronised steps and formations, they essayed the attributes of the Divine. A beautiful choreography by Pitambar, based on Jayadeva’s ‘Geetagovindam’ was the highlight of the evening. The groups of dancers conveyed the lovers’ tiffs and appeasement in a charming manner. The choreography and utilisation of space were striking. Abhinaya was the other noteworthy point.

The Mohinyattam recital in the festival began with a cholkettu by Kalamandalam Sheema. While this item displays the dancer’s technical prowess, an experienced artiste can emote effectively and commune with the audience too. Sheema used this item as an invocation to Goddess Saraswathi. A duet by Pallavi Krishnan and Sheema, the ‘Dasavatara’, based on the Jayadeva kriti ‘Pralaya Payodhi Jale’, was outstanding. The two dancers changed and interchanged roles with ease and grace. The depiction of Narasimha deserves special mention. Fine little touches like the summing up of all the avataras at the end are proof of Pallavi’s innovation and creativity. ‘Chaliye Kunjan Mor’, a Swati padam, proved Pallavi’s calibre as a seasoned artiste. Her excellent adavus and eloquent bhavas brought the garden of Vrindavan alive before the rasikas.

Kuchipudi exponent Jaikishore Mosalikanti and troupe presented a fast-paced and colourful margam consisting of a Ganapati stuti, tarangam and thillana. The stuti, set to raga Arabhi, was praiseworthy for its beautiful and precise formations. The tharangam, the most important piece in Kuchipudi, taken from Sri Krishnaleela tharangini and set to ragamalika, told the stories of Lord Krishna’s life. Among these, ‘Kaliyamardanam’ and ‘Geetopadesam’ were remarkable. The tableau formations used in the dance were picturesque. The fast pace, alternating sequences and complete professionalism set this dance a class apart.

An exquisite thillana composed by M. Balamuralikrishna brought down the curtains on Lasyotsavam 2013.

Usha Nangiar and Kathak exponent Rajshree Shirke also performed in the fete.

It was organised by Lasya Akademi of Mohiniyattam, Thrissur, in association with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.