Chitra Laxman took the stage with poise and revealed clarity in execution.
Young Chitra Laxman’s recital for Brahma Gana Sabha at the Sivagami Petachi Auditorium, exuded her joy and confidence while taking the stage. A 10 Grade student who is a resident of Detroit, U.S, Chitra has trained under Srekala Bharath.
Chitra’s ability to execute pure dance sections fluidly went hand in hand with her creditable ability to communicate poetic niceties. Further, her multi-hued costume added to the overall peppy feel.
The evening’s repertoire was a blend of traditional and contemporary compositions. Following the introductory Thodaya Mangalam, Chitra performed the Vasantha Jatiswaram, a composition of the Thanjavur Quartet. Undoubtedly, the music of these vintage numbers contributed to the requisite weightiness of the dancing.
The Papanasam Sivan varnam in Sriranjani and Adi, ‘Sami Nee Manam Irangi,’ carried a comprehensive imprint of mood and rhythm. What made a big difference to the dancing here was the choreography. The visualisation of the heroine reminded one of the devotee’s intense longing for Muruga in the golden lyric of Tiruppugazh.
From the entry that presented the dancer carrying an idol of Lord Muruga in a procession to the detailing of Arunagirinathar’s story, Chitra’s depiction followed the poet’s eulogy closely.
The depiction of the six facets of Muruga was another strong point. Chitra’s apt emoting emphasised the heroine’s real focus: attaining Muruga’s Grace. This feat combined with the brisk execution of the jatis made one overlook minor rhythmical misperceptions that had crept in between.
The javali in Purvikalyani and Adi, ‘Nee Matalae’ where the heroine confronts the hero for his failure to bring her gifts, did not, however, have the same impact.
The factual rendering of the ‘dialogue’ could have carried sharper cuts of sarcasm. Perhaps, an apt choice of lyric would have helped the dancer better. A tillana in the lilting Surya, a composition by Rukmini Ramani, brought back the dynamism in the recital.
Nandini Anand’s singing along with Srekala Bharath’s nattuvangam, Vedakrishnan’s mridangam and Srinivasan’s violin accentuated the performance.