Sangeetha Vasudevan steered clear of gimmicks and refrained from presenting a hyped up version of natyam.
Sangeetha Vasudevan’s recital at Mylapore Fine Arts for their 60 art festival had a singular dignity to it. The disciple of veteran guru Rhadha, carried the full bodied aroma of the Vazhuvoor bani. A dancer based in the USA, Sangeetha’s mature thinking played a significant role in reinforcing the orthodox tenor of the dance.
‘Ananda Natana Prakasam,’ the first number in Kedaram, did contribute significantly to the resonant mood of the performance. The slow rendering of the Kedara ragam was no doubt meant to stabilise the kalapramanam but the fallout of the slow tempo was a pace that dragged especially considering the advantage of placing livelier tempos for the opening of the recital. The detailing of the episode of Siva imbibing the poison contributed to the all-round depiction of Siva.
Sangeetha steered clear of gimmicks and refrained from presenting a hyped up version of natyam. In ‘Innum En Manam,’ set in Charukesi ragam a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman, there was a sedate exposition of images couched in poetic statements. Sending a message on a lotus leaf, the complete description of Krishna and the episode of lifting Govardhana were fine points where the dancer took her time and communicated without fuss or fanfare. Despite the rather solid nature of nritta the varnam was a worthy effort.
A big attraction in the varnam was the use of jatis that have weathered the test of time. Resounding with apt syllables, the dhwani followed the flow of dance and music and heightened the dancing. There were several phrases of rhythm the special strokes of which many rasikas would readily identify with this style of Bharatanatyam. With guru Rhadha at the helm for the nattuvangam and Nandini Anand singing with verve, the dancer was assured of good support. The uyyalanadai at the end brought in a combined sense of grace and beauty.
The famous Khambodi padam ‘Padari Varugude,’ a composition of Ghanam Krishna Iyer was perceived by the dancer from the anu pallavi. The basic ideas of anticipating the coming of Muruga and the heroine’s deep feeling for him were established without ambiguity. The skilled use of the dancer’s eyes in portraying the passion for the hero as well as in the pure dance movements in the ensuing tillana reflected her experience in the art.