Lavanya's abhinaya is more intense with the Kalanidhi-style of dramatisation making an impact. Her movement vocabulary has however hit an impasse.

Lavanya Ananth, a former disciple of Guru K.J. Sarasa, is currently under the guidance of Bragha Bessell. She is a striking dancer who ventured out on her own a few years ago and carved a niche for herself as a ‘promising’ dancer.

Now as she matures as an artist, one sees changes in her style. Her abhinaya is more intense with the Kalanidhi-style of dramatisation making an impact. Her movement vocabulary has however hit an impasse -- the jathis did not have enough punch and the predominantly angular movements palled with repeated use. Their execution, lacking lightness and energy, was also uninspiring. Her recent Bharatanatyam recital was therefore disappointing.

Lavanya opened with a meditative ‘Amba Stuthi’ in ragamalika, Adi, combining the Lalitha Sahasranama Dhyana sloka with verses from Raja Rajeswari Ashtakam. The music was by percussionist M.S. Sukhi, who seems to be an all-rounder.

The movements and the rhythm mirrored every nuance in the music to beautiful effect. But the impact of the opening did not last long. Though the navaragamalika varnam, ‘Samiyai Azhaittodi Va Sakhiye Endan’ (Adi, K.N. Dandayudhapani Pillai) had interesting tattu-mettu sequences, excellent timing, effective portrayal of the heroine urging her friend to bring Siva to her, the long jathis that had too many gaps in between steps made no mark, leaving the rasika cold. The one jathi that was impressive was the charana jathi.

Post-varnam, it was a different story. ‘Pashyati Dishi Dishi’ is a complicated Ashtapadi which features the friend conveying Radha’s pitiable state to Krishna. The role-play needs to be very clear to distinguish between the two women; if Lavanya was good here, she was even better in the javali ‘Itu Sahasamulu.’ A young girl indignantly rebuts Padmanabha’s advances and as a parting salve, she promises to come to him when she is all ‘grown up’ to play love games, but fumbles here, not knowing what exactly to promise. This was the highest point of the recital.

While Srilatha gave energy to the pure dance segments with her crisp intonation, Murali Parthasarathy (vocal) and Kalaiarasan (violin) added lustre to the compositions.

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Rupa SrikanthDecember 27, 2011