Lively presentation of a string of pieces from classical repertoire marked the celebration of Visakha Dance Academy’s 58th anniversary at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam. Founded and nurtured by Bharatanatyam exponent Mahanti Venkateswara Rao, the academy has been in the forefront in promotion of classical dance in the city for over five decades. Known for discipline and impeccable adherence to tradition, he had set the efficiency bar of the academy high during his time. It is heartening that his wife and noted danseuse Lakshmi Mahanthi and their offspring continue to maintain the institution intact.

Popular padam Indendu vachitivira and a javali Marulu minchera were the highlights of the evening. Radhika Mahanti portrayed Khandita nayaki in the padam with verve. The nayaki puts her lord in dock for knocking the wrong door in moonlight. She detailed the element of possessive nature of the nayaki who was unable to stand even perceived coldness in her intimacy with her beloved.  Her abhinaya was remarkable for its finesse. The subtle shades of emotive expression stood well-delineated for each of the lines.

Siri Mahanti was at her evocative best in javali Marulu minchera. She wove the passionate mood of the piece in alluring sancharis that captured the spirit of the nayaki’s mind pining for her Lord.

Sarasi jakshulu, a sabdam, encapsulated Lord Krishna’s pranks with gopikas where he stole their clothes from the banks of Yamuna and teased them. The presentation was marked by its attractive choreography. Sambho Siva Shambho was replete with vigorous thandava aspects of the dance and it was executed well to its minute detail.

Budding talents presented Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnukatha and Muddugare Yasoda of Annamayya that ably brought out the devotional fervour imbedded in the compositions in an endearing manner.

D. Anindita, B. Tanushka Naidu, S. Sai Sriya, S. Mani Sahasra, Ravi Khushi, V.S.A. Anushka, Sanjay Shankar Mahanti and S. Narayana took part. Guru Lakshmi Mahanti provided nattuwangam and vocal support along with Sanjay. M. Neeladri Rao on violin, M. Yedukondalu on mridangam, S. Kumarbabu on flute, Ayyala Somayajula R. Koundinya on morsing and M.V. Satyanarayana on veena lent good orchestral support.