Sumitra Subramaniam, the Spirit of Youth winner, was a picture of poise. V.V. RAMANI
Sumitra Subramaniam, the winner of The Music Academy’s Spirit of Youth Award performed at the organisation’s annual dance festival. She began on a bright note with Pushpanjali in Nattai followed by shlokas from Ganesha Pancharatnam, where she depicted the majesty of the elephant-headed god with conviction.
The varnam in Purvikalyani, ‘Swamiyai Vara Solladi’ showcased her talent in nritta and abhinaya. The jathi korvais were done with precision while the theermanams in varied kalapramanam were brief. But she needs to work on attaining finesse and grace that would enhance the quality of her dance.
Sumitra went on to depict images of bees drinking nectar, the varied images of the dancing peacock, the blooming of flowers and the birth of the six little babies to come forth as Karthikeya. The little nuances seen when, with a beautiful expression, she asks the birds to quieten down or while depicting the love play of the birds, showcased her promising talent in abhinaya. In the portrayal of sakhi, the intimacy between the heroine and the sakhi was missing – it was more like addressing an acquaintance. Sumitra is at the threshold of her dancing career and with continued, and committed effort and focus, she can go places.
The sakhi continued to be the focus of the performance, where besides the varnam, the Ashtapadi, ‘Sakhi he’ and javali ‘Enthadi kuluke’ addressed the same theme. Her walk, expressions and gestures were full of life in the portrayal of the heroine in the javali. A brisk Oothukadu Venkata Kavi thillana in Suruti concluded the recital.
Radha Badri’s singing was melodious. Kalai Arasan on the violin, Shruti Sagar on the flute, Nellai Kannan on the mridangam and Jayanti Subhramanian, wielding the cymbals, provided the necessary musical support.