The three-day festival of dance saw a rich repertoire of styles and themes.

The three-day dance festival of Visakha Music and Dance Academy stood out for its splendid aesthetic appeal at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam. Featuring seasoned and up and coming artistes, it offered a visual treat in varying degrees of excellence. While the veterans came out with vibrant performances of superlative order, budding ones showed good promise.

The artistes presenting Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi unveiled shades of distinct styles both in group and solo performances. Diverse themes ranging from romance to nature in bloom and pangs of separation to devotional fervour found exuberant expression. The way the artistes brought out the lyrical import of the compositions taken up in the gestural terms with ease and precision held the dance lovers in thrall. The apple pie order in the conduct of the fest further made it endearing to the viewers. Though traditional repertoire remained the mainstay for the artistes in all the sessions, worldly scenic beauty and abstract aspects had their pride of the place lending freshness to the theme.

US-based Divya Devaguptapu’s energetic Bharatanatyam opened the fete. She chose Omkara pranava, a piece centred on the spiritual significance of omkaram and its manifestation through pantheon our mythology as the mainstay of the session.

She portrayed how Om, the combination of three syllables akara, ukara and makara epitomises the quintessential nature of the creation, in its emergence, sustenance and annihilation perceived as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.

And then Om in its another expression as Radha and Krishna and entrancing notes from His flute harping on the importance of self-surrender void of ego to the will of the Lord.

Finally, about yet another origin of Om, when Lord Vishnu lay on Banyan leaf as vatapatrasayana and the appearance of Brahma found captivating expression. Intricate choreographic patterns combined with rich abhinaya conveyed spiritual import of the piece in abundance. An Ashtapadi of Jayadev depicting Radha, a virahothkantitha Nayaki in throes of separation and Javali Iddari pondelara of Dasu Sriramulu were other notables in her session.

On the second day, Ananda Shankar Jayant’s scintillating performance particularly ‘Vasantha – India in spring’ held the dance lovers in thrall reflecting her chirographical acumen and expressional prowess. Taking up Nava Vasantham, a song of Devulapalli, it wove images of nature with its rich flora and fauna.

To be precise, it unfolded into an ode to spring in gestural vocabulary of classical dance testifying redoubtable artistic ingenuity of Ananda both as a choreographer and an ace performer. Dasavatras and Suryanamaskarams with complex footwork and sculpturesque postures stood out for its aesthetic appeal.

On the third day, US-based P. Madhavi Reddy presented Bharatanatyam with verve, while promising artistes of Kuchipudi Kala Kshetram of Vempati China Satyam and disciples of Kuchipudi exponent Guru Hari Rama Murthy danced to a string of Annamayya’s compositions mirroring quality training imparted at Kala Kshetram.