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Delayed take-off, short sancharis

Urmila Satyanarayana

THE BHARATANATYAM programme by the Vipanchee group Priya Jayaraman, Mala and Aparna refused to take off even half way through the varnam. Earlier, one of them did the Pushpanjali. It would have been helpful if they had announced who was who of the three, though one could identify Priya by conjecture.

She danced to "Sri Chakraraja,'' the ragamalika composition on Devi, doing short sancharis on some of the valorous episodes from the story of the Goddess. The varnam was "Amba Anandadayini'' in Gambhiranattai by Dr. Balamuralikrishna, also on Devi. It was by Priya and the third girl. They did the teermanams and sancharis alone and together alternately.

The nattuvangam was by M. Kishore, vocal by Vanati, violin by Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan, mridangam by Hari Babu and flute by Natarajan.


One could not help admiring the slim and attractive Urmila Sathyanarayana. Her porcelain-like appearance was enhanced by the off-white costume she wore for the first two items in her programme, "Tyagaraja Vaibhavam'' based on the compositions of the saint. After Pushpanjali in Nagaswaravali, which was purely solkattus, she took up "Therathiyakarada."

Her expressions effectively brought out the pleading and appealing face of the saint to Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati when he found the curtain was down, hiding the Lord. "Endaro Mahanubhavulu,'' the Sri Raga pancharatna kriti took the place of the varnam.

Urmila's `aramandi' was outstanding particularly in the current scene when it is almost a farce with many artistes. The swara segments in this composition helped to replace the nritta aspects of the teermanams of the varnam.

In the post-varnam session, Urmila appeared in a dark-coloured costume. Be it in "Nidhi Chala Sukhama'' in which Tyagaraja spurned the wealth offered by the king, "Nagumomu Ganaleni'' in which he complained about not being able to see the smiling face of Rama or "Venuganaloluni'' describing the pranks of Krishna, Urmila's whole body exuded the emotions. The majestic prince Rama and the shy damsel Seetha came alive in her portrayal in "Seethakalyana Vaibhogame."

One also could not help appreciating her steady posture on one foot, which was quite often. Nattuvangam and vocal by were by Swamimalai S. P. Suresh. Nellai Kannan was on the mridangam, Veeramani on the violin and Srinivasan on the flute.


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