Graceful sketches and zest in nritta were Aishwarya Ananth's assets.
The high energy packed recital of Aishwarya Ananth was commendable for its absolute fidelity to tradition.
Aishwarya is a student of Sri Bharatalaya, instituted by Sudharani Raghupathy.
Senior dancer-teachers of the school, Priya Dixit and Priya Murle, added depth to the recital with their composed nattuvangam for the evening.
An added feature was Madurai Krishnan's exemplary compositions for the majority of the evening's programme.
A.S. Murali's vocal music and S. Vijaraghavan's violin twanged with Parthasarthy's quiet mridangam and set a solid backing for the dancer.
The maiden number ‘Jaya Jaya Shambho' was tuned with the diversity of a ragamalika and its medium tempo was just right for the introduction.
Brief sollu kattus and swara passages blended with the dancer's sprightly descriptions of Siva lent an immediate warm up to the evening.
‘Maayan Mayan Sodariye' was the main piece in raga Thodi, Adi talam. The dancer's stamina stood her in good stead for the varnam which demanded both completeness in training and innate mental endurance. Challenging rhythm patterns were presented chock-a-block with adavus grounded in araimandi.
Big jumps, neat finishes and complete use of the performing space added punch to her dancing.
Aishwarya's gusto in nritta was laudable but the same enthusiasm also led her to overlook the pauses within the jatis. Her control of rhythm was overshadowed when she breezed over these small but significant punctuations in rhythm.
The dancer's abhinaya blossomed with the depiction of Devi as the life giving mother. She elaborated upon this idea by graceful sketches of trees, creepers, animals and all mankind.
The next stanza saw her represent the story of how a single Tulsi leaf could match the lustre of Krishna in the story of Krishna Tulabaram. The phrase sringara srutilaya was given a pretty treatment with poses of musical instruments followed by the lucid demarcation of the nine primary moods.
A Tamizh padam, ‘Aduvum Solluval' was the next number. The dancer delineated a nayika exclaiming at the cheek of her peer. Aishwarya was able to show the amazement and humour in the rags to riches story. The brazen woman who now donned the richest of attire was a clear and technically correct vignette but glossed over the implications in the storyline. While Aishwarya hinted at the ‘handiwork of Lord Murugesan,' a deeper exploration could have spiced up the dancing.
Exigencies of time led the dancer and orchestral team to launch into a fast paced version of the lovely Hindolam tillana. But it was to her credit that Aishwarya rendered the recital superior in all aspects.