Aishwarya Jayaraman showcased her talent despite hiccups.
Aishwarya Jayaraman, disciple of Meenakshi Chitharanjan, presented a margam where the main elements of rhythm were articulated in dance.
After some initial hiccups between the dancer and vocalist, Sankara Srigiri unfolded a mix of brief sollus and sahitya that gave a brisk air to the recital. Set in Hamsanandi and (adi talam), this kriti was a depiction of Siva's magnificent dance in a nutshell and helped the dancer get into the bhakti mode that continued in the main piece too.
The evening's core piece revolved round violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman's ragamalika in praise of Goddess Meenakshi. This was a faithful interpretation in natya as a tableau of stories, recounted by the bhakta yearning for the Devi's compassion. The transformation from the tomboy, who scorns all weaknesses, into a bashful maiden besotted with Lord Siva, was realistic and believable but not so the war scenes, where the element of raudram eluded the dancer, or the descriptions of the Goddess' beauty.
While the creative spark of teacher Meenakshi (who runs Kaladiksha) was evident, one missed the enhancement that the dancer could have conveyed in specific situations. For example, the birth of Meenakshi, the enactment of the ‘war' with Lord Siva and later the mystic lore of the Lord were some high points that provided opportunities for imaginative explorations. No doubt in time, Aishwarya will learn to seize these opportunities intuitively.
‘Alai Payude Kanna' in Kapi (Adi) was an easy going depiction, where Aishwarya sketched the haunting essence of Krishna's flute briefly. Although she seemed unsure about whether to settle for sringara or to highlight the bhakti element, the brisk pace and the exemplary sahitya worked in favour of the dancer's emerging talent.
Anger and disappointment were strongly shown in ‘Nee Matale' in Poorvikalyani. The unceremonious dismissal of the hero at the end also provided the humour quotient and lent balance to the recital.
‘Thillanna' in Kuntalavarali was a challenging number with plenty of sharp movements that tested the dancer's stamina, and had a buoyant conclusion. The orchestra comprised talented members such as vocalist Gomathi Nayakam, Kalaiarasan (violin), Viswanathan (mridangam) and Meenakshi Chitharanjan, which gave the dancer a strong base for her performance.
Keywords: Aishwarya Jayaraman