BHARATANATYAM Agile and precise, Radha Mohun was supported by a team highly competent.
Gana Mukundhapriya presented Radha Mohun in a Bharatanatyam presentation in the city recently. Intelligent planning by guru (Jayanthi Subramanian) and sishya and a fairly high performance standard by all artists, together created a wholesome package for the rasika. Vigour and depth both found expression in this mosaic.
The opening Thodayamangalam in ragamalika and talamalika and the subsequent Varnam ('Samiye vara sholladi,' Purvikalyani, Adi, Dhandayuthapani Pillai) both underlined the dancer's agility and the precision of her straight lines. Though her footwork is wanting as regards the seated stance, the clarity of beats and timing, the overall effect was one of skill and competence. Radha is expressive as well and the sentiments of the nayika yearning for Lord Kumarasami were brought out without ambiguity.
So far the dancer had come across as a good performer, nothing more, nothing less. It was the piece that followed, an Ashtapadi ('Yahi Madhava Yahi Keshava,' Jayadeva) tuned in Sindubhairavi raga by Professor C.V. Chandrasekhar that gave Radha's dance an added depth and some extra lustre.
The heroine, Radha, is wasting away, tormented by Cupid's arrows when Krishna comes to her asking forgiveness for His flirtations. Radha's momentary happiness on hearing the knock turns to anger and hurt and she turns him away with harsh words. These delicate moments were captured sensitively by Radha.
In glorious harmony
This piece was easily the best that evening when music and dance came together in glorious harmony. Oothukadu Venkatakavi's lively 'Vishamakaara Kannan' (Chenchuruti, Adi) brought out a lighter side of Krishna's character in a well-designed ploy to show the dancer's comfort in handling different moods.
Krishna's antics were retold with humour, usually so rare in the classical repertoire. Krishna teaching his neighbour the Mukhari raga by making her cry was the most laughable of them all.
With Jayanthi's mastery of rhythm, Nellai D. Kannan (mridangam) was left playing cross rhythms and fillers in his inimitable style. The table effect was appropriate in the Ashtapadi but one wished for a more relaxed pace of drumming there. Radha Badri (vocal) was pleasing throughout, while her Sindubhairavi was most soulful.
The full-bodied bowing by M.S. Kannan was enjoyable right from the Poorvikalyani varnam until the Brindavana Saranga thillana (Adi, K. Rajasekharan).