Pavitra Srinivasan enacted ‘Prahlada Charitram’ with total involvement.
High drama and strong movements dominated Pavitra Srinivasan’s Bharatanatyam performance at The Music Academy. In a presentation that included key episodes from ‘Prahlada Charitram’ and lyrics like the varnam and the opening prayer that are a part of the regular repertoire, the thematic piece got the upper hand for sheer force of emotional expression. An experienced artist, in her recital Pavitra conveyed different personalities in mythology with plenty of fervour and verve.
The melodies of ‘Sidhi Vinayakam’ in Mohanakalyani and Adi were smartly conveyed in mime and upbeat actions. This composition of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar was depicted with apt movements that invoked the compassion of the elephant god.
Subbarama Dikshitar’s ‘Sami Enthani Delpudura’ in Surutti and Rupakam was a weighty composition where the friend pleaded the case for the heroine. The resonant intonation of theermanams by Guru Shanta Dhananjayan and vocalist Srikant’s mellow voice gave the artist a good base for her sincere depictions. The nritta was no doubt challenging in its make-up and was performed without rhythmic lapses, but the forceful gusto with which the artist stressed some of the portions jarred against other sections that she performed with the right amount of moderated energy.
The lovely curling locks of the heroine and her lotus like eyes were gracefully simulated by Pavitra. But due to the narrative and descriptive nature of the lyric the heroine remained a secondary character. An extempore elaboration of the heroine’s feelings at a suitable juncture would have augmented the reach of the lilting lyric.
Extracts from Prahlada Charitram were enacted by the artist with full engagement of different body stances. Evocative music set by guru V. P. Dhananjayan and the guidance of resource person Dr. Raghavendra Sarma formed the backbone of the story. The artist portrayed different instances of Prahlada being tormented by his father and his miraculous escape each time. The demon Hiranyakashyipu was shown with a fierce energy while that of Prahlada with a serene air. However it was in the final denouement of the Narasimha avatar that the dancer’s enthusiasm ran away with her and the performing volleyed away - from the region of realism to that of hyperbole. While this is no doubt a rousing scene, it could have been depicted dramatically enough without excessive exaggeration. With the subsiding of the wrath of the avatar, matters soon quieted down and she was able to conclude on an auspicious and well-balanced mood.