Kuchipudi dance performance by Ravi retained the old traditions along with modern improvisation.
It was a mixed fare of best and better showcased on the same platform making it difficult for the viewers to distinguish the authentic from the diluted version of Kuchipudi dance.
Vedantam Satyanarasimha Sastri's (Sri Saradamba Kalakshetra) disciple Ravi took the stage with a vigorous yet stylistic presentation of a Purandhara dasa keertana extolling Ganapati.
His depiction (abhinaya) describing the lord who wipes out obstacles in myriad ways was the first testimonial of his talent. His strong footwork and his penchant to use the stage space pushed his authenticity a notch higher.
The jatiswaram, though a fundamental piece in the repertoire displayed the dancer's dexterity and fluid movements.
A special mention of the downscaling of jatis to single syllabic utterances ably buttressed by Ravi's accurate footwork. The tandavam could have been a little more rigorous and racy going by the content. Masculine footwork patterns did mark the artist's dance which had all the ingredients of classical Kuchipudi as it had existed in the hands of its native proponents.
The lack of finesse in costume and make-up has always been the bane of Kuchipudi which needs a little more research. Ravi's potential holds promise with a little more refinement needed in dress and movements. He has all the trappings of a dedicated dancer.
The young student's tillana in Hindolam was a pleasure to watch with none of them faltering a footstep.
They did a neat job and impressed the viewers. Sharada's dance to Dikshitar's Kanjadalayatakshi in Ragamalika (Kamalamanohari and Kalyani) seemed a diluted form of Kuchipudi with simplistic, swerving movements and light footwork.
Dancers would do good to study the connotations of intense compositions like that of Dikshitar while trying to present them in the nritya form. Nattuvangam and vocal rendition by Vedantam Satyanarasimha Sastri was compelling as was Varanasi Bhanuprasad's mridangam. Murali on the violin was a fitting accompanist. The presentation was staged at the Shilparamam open air theatre.