‘Alamelu Manga Charitham' would have excelled with a stronger script.
Nrutya Kinnera, a wing of Kinnera Art Theatres, celebrated its silver jubilee at Ravindra Bharati last week. To mark the occasion, Nrutya Kinnera staged Alamelu Manga Charitham. This is a ballet focussed on the history of Alamelu Manga and Mangapuram. Writer Katukuri Padmavati appears to have steered away from the Sthalapuranam of the sanctum of Tirumala. Srivalli Sarma composed the music and lent his voice assisted by Sangeetha Kala. Thematically the ballet stuck to initial part of Sthalapuranam, featuring the sage Bhrugu episode and the cause for Lakshmi deserting her husband and descending down to earth first to Karavirapur, now Kolhapur. Later she takes birth as Alamelumanga. Vishnu also comes down to earth to Venkatagiri and becomes Vishnu's incarnation of Lord Venkateswara. They fall in love. A voice from above informs Alamelu Manga that the man who loves her is Maha Vishnu. Here comes a needless and badly organised scene of Manmadha and Ratidevi dancing to bring the celestial couple together.
For a while Venkateswara behaves nonchalantly, as if ignoring Alamelu Manga after their marriage, on the advice of Narada. We do not know why. Venkateswara then promises Alamelu Manga that he would build a place for her, which is where Alamelu Mangapuram (Tiruchanur) came up, to where he promises to make visits from his abode, Tirumala.
On the presentation side, Usha Gayatri conducted the show well with crisp nattuvangam. Abhirami's performance in the title role was the strong point of the drama. Srilekhya was Venkateswara. The other roles suffered because of the weak script.
On the second day Nrutya Kinnera troupe presented Alokaye Sri Balakrishnam, also choreographed and conducted by Usha Gayatri.