Divyatha scored on expressions and graceful movements. The vocal concerts by B. Harini, S. Madhumitha and T.M. Krishna were impressive.
Rajalakshmi Fine Arts’ September Season began at Coimbatore, with a Bharatanatyam recital by Divyatha Arun. After the Pushpanjali, she presented ‘Sriman Narayana,’ by Annamacharya. The quickly changing postures comprising the 10 avatars of Vishnu, each lovelier than the other, were proofs of her growing mastery over the dance form.
The varnam in Khamas, ‘Maathe, Malayadhwaja Paandya Sanjaathe’ was a visual delight. For the pallavi, she concisely depicted the birth, education, training in martial arts and the wedding of Meenakshi and moved on to the Devi’s more furious form for the anupallavi. The crisp swaras and jatis seemed like a cakewalk.
‘Thaye, Yashodha’ has been depicted so often by so many people. Yet when Divyatha presented it with endearing facial expressions and graceful movements, she scored an extra point. She charmed the spectators with the pranks of Krishna, but it was Yashodha who stayed in the minds as a doting mother. She concluded with ‘Bho Shambho’ and a thillana in Maund.
Divyatha also had the advantage of a great orchestra with the vocal support of Girija Ramaswamy and nattuvangam by Shanmugasundaram, a senior disciple of her guru K.J. Sarasa. Viswanathan’s mridangam set the pace while Srinivasan’s violin laid down the mood, with the fragrance of the ragas delicately wafting before she began each item.
Rajeswari Arvind, disciple of Shobana Bhalchandra and Chitra Chandrasekhar Dasarathy, presented Bharatanatyam recital, with Nandakumar’s vocal support, R. Srihari’s mridangam and N.R. Narasimhamurthy’s flute. Rajeswari danced beautifully, under the guidance of Guru Chitra.
The well-coordinated rendering of Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna kritis by Pandanallur Chandrasekara Bhagavatar’s disciples, B. Harini and S. Madhumitha, was quite impressive. The young duo went through this marathon effort with sincerity and delighted the audience with their clear diction. They also sang a few rarely heard kritis of Anai-Ayya, such as ‘Arumai Perumai Theriyaadha,’ ‘Kaanakkannaayiram Vendum’ and ‘Aiyaaraa Ennai Aadhari.’ They were supported on the violin by S. Chandramouli and on the mridangam by K.S. Raghunath.
T.M. Krishna’s vocal concert presented great surprises and greater thrills. Following the alapana of Mayamalavagowla, he sang ‘Aparaadhamulanniyu’ in Lathangi. His RTP in Gowla did away with the ragam and instead elaborated the tanam in an exquisite manner.
The pallavi for the RTP was not devotional as is the norm, but a romantic one - ‘Vizhigalaal Kathaigal Kooridum Anbe, Mozhi Pala Irundhum.’ The lovely swaras poured out gliding from one raga to another, as the vocalist and the violinist vied with each other, to bring out their best. It appeared at times as if Krishna was having a private dialogue with Shriram Kumar. Thankfully, the audience could also listen in. The rasikas were intrigued now and then, but soon settled to expect the unusual from Krishna in every way.
Krishna made a racy beginning with ‘Naadhopasana’ in Begada. After delineating Ritigowla (also known as Nari Ritigowla) according to Dikshitar’s sampradaya, he rendered ‘Sri Neelothpala Naayike,’ one of the Vibhakti kritis of Dikshitar, in an unhurried manner, letting the audience soak in the richness of the raga and the lyrical beauty of the composition.
When he sang, ‘Pankaja Nayana Vishaale,’ one could almost visualise the goddess with large eyes, shaped like lotus petals. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s varnam, ‘Maathe, Malayadhwaja Paandya Sanjaathe’ in Khamas was the centre piece.
Krishna brought in variety, depth and novelty as he depicted the raga with many gestures and much flourish. R.K. Shriram Kumar did the same on his violin with demure dignity as the raga flowed smoothly through his nimble fingers. As Krishna sang the composition, one was left wondering whether to admire the genius of the composer or the energetic rendering of the vocalist.
Melakavari K. Balaji (mridangam) and Thiruppunithura Radhakrishnan came together for a riveting thani, besides giving excellent rhythmic support throughout.