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With a touch of divinity


UNDER THE Natyarangam Trust of Narada Gana Sabha, Uma Nambudiripad, a disciple of Chitra Visweswaran, gave a very promising Bharatanatyam performance recently, focussing on compositions addressing Lord Shanmukha. Chitra Visweswaran, who has shaped several noteworthy dancers, both male and female , is to be credited with nourishing yet another young and skilful talent. Uma has potential to shine further.

Endowed with a supple physique that can bring out the varied picturesque nuances of the Vazhuvoor bani, her pleasing stage presence and serene face added a further touch of divinity to her portrayal. Uma's talent in vocal music enriched her mimetic interpretations. Her communication was replete with bhava .

With a vibrant nattuvangam Chitra commenced the Misram alarippu, which was presented with energy by Uma. Following this was "Nadhanai Azhaithu" — a varnam addressing Lord Shanmukha and His glorious manifestations. A little more focus on the greatness of the Lord for the opening line "Nadhanai" would have added strength at this point, wherein the pining Nayika requests her friend to bring the Lord to her.


The teermanams recited by Chitra with vigour were danced with beauty and grace associated with this style. Visweswaran who sang melodiously gave the right momentum to the latter part of the varnam, starting with Nadopadesam in a spirited manner. Uma made it a soulful presentation. The brisk arudis extended a lively touch.

The moving portrayal of Lord Muruga in the song, "Kaa Vaa Vaa" in Varali by Papanasam Sivan, was sung with feeling by Visweswaran and Uma responded with equal depth. The tillana in Mohana Kalyani by Lalgudi Jayaraman, where again the same deity was glorified amidst an energetic rhythmical network, gave a fitting conclusion to Uma's impressive performance. The orchestra comprised Visweswaran (vocal), Gopi (mridangam), and Seetharama Sarma (violin) and Devaraj — a disciple of Sikkil sisters, who rendered pleasant tunes — (flute).

Neat execution

Urmila Satyanarayanan deserves praise for training two bright, young dancers as dedicated and hardworking as she. It was a joy to watch little Swathy Ashok and Asmita Chandramohan in two different sessions on the same evening, under the auspices of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha. Both the dancers exhibited skill and meticulous training.

Swathy has a pleasant stage appearance combined with innate talent for abhinaya. Even at this age, she showed considerable skill in improvising on episodes; one could see her capacity to communicate whatever had been taught, with considerable confidence and composure.

Uma Nambudiripad

The interpretations came out smoothly and gracefully. "Innum En Manam," Lalgudi Jayaraman's varnam in Charukesi, formed the mainstay of Swathy's recital. The choice of items by Urmila went well with the age and experience of the dancers. Swathy was at ease both in nritta segments as well as in abhinaya. Her attention to all the details of the Vazhuvoor-Sarasa style, which she has imbibed , was noteworthy. The arai mandi, firm adavus and lively postures that were struck with beauty, revealed the strong stamp of Urmila.

The well-known song on Lord Ayyappa ("Harivaraasanam") was enjoyable , although care could have been given to present appropriate interpretations for certain places in the lyric.

The Kanada Tillana, a very popular piece once upon a time, was presented by Swathy with a sparkle. The singing of the tillana by Swamimalai Suresh, nephew of Swamimalai Rajaratnam, brought back nostalgic memories of the performances of Kamala Lakshman, for whom Rajaratnam had sung this tillana countless number of times. Suresh's voice is a lot like his uncle's. His Kanada alapana was catchy.

With the opening Ganesa Kavutuvam, Asmita Chandramohan, revealed ample proof of her hard work and dedication. Firm control over nritta, neat execution of the rhythmic aspects and hand delineations and precise footwork marked Asmita's performance.

The varnam, "Velanai" in Bhairavi, by K. N. Dandayudhapani Pillai, not often heard these days was the major number in Asmita's recital. The young dancer revealed firm grip in the technical portions of the varnam. Her handling of the nuances of abhinaya is bound to improve with further practice. Asmita has a fine sense of rhythm and the latter part of the varnam was performed with joyous brilliance without allowing one dull moment.

Urmila conducted both the recitals with perfect grip and energy. She was ably assisted by Suresh (vocal), Venkatesan (flute) and Veeramani (violin). Saktivel's (mridangam) fascinating play of cross rhythm and sarvalaghu was thoroughly enjoyable.


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