If one wanted to know how special Vempati Chinna Satyam’s method of teaching dance was, you could find no better example than Sasikala, his student, now living in USA and her sister Nandini, from the way they presented some dance numbers at Telugu University auditorium last Friday. This occasion was steered by Vamsee International, a wing of Vamsee Art Theaters.
Sasikala opened with a prayer to Vinayaka – Pranamamyaham Gowrisutam of Vasudevacharya in Gowla followed by Thyagaraja’s Ksheerasagara Sayana in Devagandhari. The very rendition of pallavi in myriad patterns was matched by her sancharis in abhinaya combined with brisk footwork. Vocalist D.S.V. Sastry, added a nereval at one stage that helped the dancer to go for many more sancharis in her abhinaya, intensifying dance movements. As it progressed into anupallavi and charanas, she dramatised a few scenes from Mahabharata.
Sasikala’s sister Nandini entered the stage later and took up Devulapalli Krishna Sastry’s popular number Koluvaitiva Rangasai. She too exhibited some of her dancing skills and interpretation of sahitya. Her dance at the line Oura Ouroura was indeed a remarkable presentation with jatis, especially the second, was thrilling.
Sasikala entered again, performing a Narayana Teertha’s tarangam Pahi Pahimam Paramakripala, preceded by some slokas. Gist of each sloka was well revealed in her abhinaya. Sasikala chose to present the typical Kuchipudi ‘Tarangam’, dancing on the brass plate. The grace was never lost even in brisk forward and backward movements.
M. Manjulata gave vocal support to Sastry. K. Rajagopalacharya on mridangam, R. Dinkar on violin, D. Jayakumaracharya on tabla and morsing, Murali on flute and Sudhakar on veena lent support.