The lively dance performance by the students of Lavanya Sankar spoke of their rigorous training.
The students of Lavanya Sankar’s ‘Abhyasa’ Academy of classical dance presented ‘Kundrakudi Kuravanji,’ choreographed by their guru’s guru, the late K.J. Sarasa, three decades ago, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Coimbatore. Lavanya has shortened the three-hour dance ballet, and presented it with a few alterations, without compromising on the quality.
‘Kuravanji’ as a dance form offers a blend of classical and folk genres. ‘Kundrakudi Kuravanji’ has all the fundamental features of a typical kuravanji, with the kattiakkaaran (announcer), hero (Lord Murugan), heroine (Mohini), sakhi (friend) and the kuravanji Singi (soothsayer), who describes the beauty of Kundrakudi. The kattiakkaaran announces that the Lord is being taken out in a procession through that side. Mohini sees the Lord and is smitten by him. She sends her friend to the Lord with a message of love. Meanwhile, the soothsayer sees her hand and predicts that Mohini will marry the prince of her dreams. The sakhi arrives with good tidings; the wedding takes place. Soon, Singi returns home to an upset husband, Singan. After some argument between them peace sets in.
The lyrics were lovely and the vocalist Pozhakkudi Praveen added life to it. He sang at various speeds, thoroughly enjoying the mood swings incorporated in the songs. Parthasarathy on the mridangam, Muruganandam on the violin and Raghunathan on the flute gave excellent support to the vocalist. A confident Lavanya conducted the dance ballet with her energetic nattuvangam and clear diction. The lively group dances spoke of rigorous training. Janani Suresh as Mohini looked stunning and danced with grace. A lively Lakshmisree Vikrant stole the show as Singi. She was at ease with herself and her role was full of antics that were thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators. Lord Murugan looked majestic while the sakhi gave an efficient and lively performance. The team scored in the make-up and costume departments too.
Earlier, Abhyasa conferred the title ‘Abhyasa Nrithya Vardhini’ upon Dr. Gayathri Kannan, principal, ‘Nrithyodaya’ School of dance, Chennai, for her contribution to dance, vocal music, nattuvangam and research. Gayathri Kannan dedicated the title to her guru Padma Subrahmanyam. ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayakaram, who was the chief guest offered felicitations.