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Updated: December 25, 2009 15:47 IST

The nritta stood out

USHA RAMDAS
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CONNOISSEUR'S DELIGHT: Mythili Prakash
Photo: S. Thanthoni
The Hindu CONNOISSEUR'S DELIGHT: Mythili Prakash Photo: S. Thanthoni

Mythili Prakash's performance was well planned and very well executed.

Mythili Prakash's performance was a connoisseur's delight. Right from the Anjali, the audience was treated to the sheer beauty of perfect hand positions and complete movements even in the faster segments.

Set in Hamsadhwani and Vasanthi, the Anjali was followed by a Misra Chapu Alarippu that had a slightly different finish from the standard format.

Throughout the performance, with sculpted poses woven into the jatis and without missing a beat, Mythili truly impressed with her nritta.

Jayshree Ramnath's nattuvangam also moved easily between the various nadais and kalams. The varnam ‘Swami Nee Rammanave’ in Khamas was replete with korvais, though there was one jati where the constant switching between tisram and chatusram felt a little heavy. It also needs to be remembered that even if there is a small difference in the kalapramanam between the jati and the pick up line of the music, the muthayippu does not fall neatly into place.

The lyric of the varnam extolled the qualities of Lord Brhadeeswara, who, the heroine proclaims, is not just another noble or King. He is none other than the Lord of the Universe. She asks her sakhi to bring Him to her. The sancharis referred to the story of Shiva consuming poison to become Neelakantan and described His form with the Ganges and the third eye to show His greatness and gave a brief description of His temple with the sculptures and gopuram. Mythili's abhinaya was scholarly, but this item stood out for its nritta.

It was in the subsequent Ashtapadi ‘Pashyati Dishi Dishi’ that Mythili seemed to break free of a certain restraint in her abhinaya. Her portrayal of the sakhi describing Radha waiting in vain for Krishna to come was extremely poignant. Radha's crossing the line dictated by her norms of modesty to call out to Krishna and the sakhi's joy at Krishna's eventual willingness to meet Radha were all depicted very effectively. Choreography was also aesthetic in the various images of Radha waiting at the doorstep.

The tillana in Nasikabhushani was composed by Harikrishna Sundaram and was set in an unusual cycle of 10 and a half beats. Mridangam by Vedakrishnan took centre stage here and one of the korvais had the dance and nattuvangam alternating with the mridangam. A few missed cues seemed apparent in the music in this item, which wound up with an abhang by Sant Tukaram.

Aditya Prakash's vocal support shone in his rendering of the abhang and was matched by Mythili's abhinaya, with the choreography taking the music to a crescendo before gradually dissolving into silence.

With Eashwar Ramakrishna and Ananthanarayanan providing excellent support on the violin and veena respectively, and with pleasing light arrangements by Venkatesh, this performance was well planned and very well executed.


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