DANCE Young Malvika Jaikanth enthralled the audience with her performance in Dandayuthapani style.

The Navaratri dance programme organised by R.R.Sabha had a treat in store for dance lovers - vintage Dandayuthapani Pillai style of dance. The dancer was Malvika Jaikanth, disciple of Guru Surya Santhnam, director of the well known school, Baraga Malayalam. Malvika displayed dexterity and energy in her dance recital at the R.K. Swamy auditorium recently. The music and cadence of the late Dandayuthapani's vibrant compositions were made all the more enjoyable both by the choreography and the performance.

Planned with care

Also, the guru had charted the programme with care so that the dancer's skills in nritta and abhinaya were displayed to maximum effect. Malvika opened with a Pushpanjali in Aarabi ragam and Adi talam {ndash} a Balamurali Krishna composition. She established the mood of gaiety and energy with her broad smile and sharp adavus. The dancer's bright red costume and accessorised temple jewellery were added positives. Lord Ganesha's tummy, his gait and his compassionate nature as the remover of obstacles were established in this piece.

The ancient Tamil hymn, 'Kunitha Puruvamum,' extolling the majesty and beauty of Lord Siva's form and beseeching his ultimate grace was followed by the brisk number 'Natesa Kavutuvam.' Following the traditional format of the kavutuvam, the poses of Nataraja were intertwined with corresponding footwork and quick steps.

The focus of the evening was DandayudhaPani Pillai's Sankarabaranam varnam in Tamil. . The nayika pleads with her friend to hasten and bring her Lord, Venkateswara, to her side. Thus 'Sakhiye Inda Jaalam' was a number that brought out the latent skills in the dancer. Malvika has excellent stamina and this stood her in good stead in this long number. The theermanams, the tattimettus and the swara passages of the second half of the varnam were performed with smiling zeal. 'Ulagam Pughazhum Kalai' was another Tamil number where the highpoints of the art of Bharatanatyam were showcased. The various ragas and the elegant lyrics made it musically pleasing. 'Madurashtakam,' a collection of eight stanzas in Sanskrit wherein the alliteration of the poetry reverberates with the sweetness of Krishna, was woven into the effervescent number by Guru Surya.. Malvika's agile movements boosted the performance.

Tillana, the concluding number, was in Paras. A haunting raga, this tillana was full of adavus that bore the hallmark of the Guru's style and had sweeping movements that combined grace and dynamism. The young artist rose to the occasion and concluded her recital on an upbeat note.

She was backed by the orchestral team headed by Guru Surya Santhanam (nattuvangam), strong singing of Meenakshi, subtle mridangam of Mohan Krishnan, and the melodious flute and keyboard of Shankaranarayanan and Venkatasubramanian.