Books and a DVD were released and a dance homage was paid at the event organised by Samskrita Ranga.
Dr. V. Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts celebrated its 28 remembrance day at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan recently. On the following day, Samskrita Ranga, founded by Dr. V. Raghavan, celebrated its 54th anniversary. The events were organised by Nandini Ramani, Dr. Raghavan's daughter and dance writer.
It showcased some of the leading lights in Bharatanatyam and also brought the focus on Sanskrit drama and literature. ‘Bharatanatyam,' a book in Tamil by Dr. Raghavan and a DVD were released the first day. (The DVD titled, ‘A Tradition Continues,' comprises excerpts of performances of Priyamvada Sankar and Nandini Ramani, sisters and senior disciples of Balasaraswati.)
Presiding over the function, noted writer Shanta Serbjeet Singh spoke of the powerful pull of the classical arts and also about her affinity to the cultural milieu of Chennai.
Senior dancer Padma Subrahmanyam recalled some special moments with Balasaraswati and drew a warm picture of her human side in her felicitation speech. S. Janaki, Executive Editor, Sruti, received the first copy of the book and DVD.
Natya Samaradhanam, a group presentation directed by Nandini Ramani, was a glittering tableau with the performances of leading dancers. ‘Samiyai Azhaithu,' Khamas varnam in Tamil, was the icing on the cake of the evening.
Display of synergy
One could see the synergy displayed by the inputs of the six dancers -- Priyadarsini Govind, Bragha Bessel, Srekala Bharath, Sailaja, Manjari Rajendrakumar and Sushama Ranganathan.
The orchestral efforts of Venkatakrishnan and the vocals of Chitrambari and Balaji supported the dancers' efforts adequately. Though the dancers belonged to different schools there was cohesion both in approach and performance.
The opening number of the recital was Alarippu in Misram that was followed by Jatiswaram in Vasanta and an evocative Sabdam in Sanskrit. These were noteworthy for the languid grace coupled with firm footwork of Sushama. ‘Kaaranam Kettu Vaadi' and ‘Samayamide' in the latter half of the evening featured combined efforts of the dancers.
The second day celebrated the 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Renowned Sanskrit scholar and poet Prof. Abhirajarajendra Misra released the publication ‘Rabindranath Tagore and Sanskrit Literature' by Dr V. Raghavan.
The Sanskrit play ‘Valmiki Pratibha,' translated by Dr. Raghavan and directed by Nandini Ramani was staged on the occasion.