Sri Renganatha Vaibavam, at Sivagami Pettachi auditorium on January 20, dance recital by Abbirami Sriram and Apparajitha Sriram, on January 20 was highly enchanting. The rendition was presented by Brahma Gana Sabha. Their effort to narrate the significance of Sri Rangam was captivating. The two handled the task of a group of dancers with ease. The one and a half an hour concert was divided into three parts. The scene opened with both the girls describing the beauty of the location of Sri Rangam. They went on to describe elaborately how the place is ideally located between the Cauvery and Kollidam. They described the Lord as one who gazes towards Sri Lanka, in his lying posture. With fervour and gaiety they presented various pasurams of Andal (Thoomani Madathu and Malee Manivannaa); Periaazhwar and Thondaradipodi azhwar.
The second half was about how the Sriranga Vimanam reached the Earth. King Ikshvaku was given the Vimanam by Lord Brahma. The auspicious piece was passed on through generations of the Surya dynasty. The two girls proceeded to narrate Ramayana in a short and sweet manner. During the consecration function of Lord Rama, he generously gifts all those who had helped him during his exile.
When Rama approaches Vibheeshana, the latter pleads to Rama to accompany him to Sri Lanka. Abbirami Sriram as Rama calmy, but firmly, refuses and instead presents him the Ranga Vimanam and asks him to worship it thrice a day. Blessed with the divine piece, Vibheesana proceeds to Lanka. Enroute, he stops at Tiruchy to perform puja to the Vimanam. But to his dismay, he is unable move the Vimanam from the place of worship. There was a thunderous applause from the audience when Aparajitha, as Vibheeshana, enacted the scene to perfection when she tried to lift the piece off the ground. A dejected Vibheeshana leaves to Sri Lanka consoling himself with the fact that after all the Lord’s gaze is fixed towards the island.
The third and final part was about the utsavams at Sri Rangam. Chithirai Theer and Mohini Aatam, Raa Pathu, Pagal Pathu were the highlights of the recital. Another appealing aspect of the utsavam episode was the Arayar Sevai (Arayars are a group of people who dance in front of the Lord wearing special caps and jewellery). Both the girls were wearing a grand red cap.
The presentation as a whole was a very appealing one. It was a feast to all the five senses. Lyrics by Sri Kavi and Krishnakumari Narendran spoke volumes about the linguistic capability of the duo. Radha Bhadri’s voice flowed melodiously throughout the show. Voice intonation of Ms. Krishnakumari during the narrations kept the audience spellbound.
Anrithavahini Prabhakar’s presentation at Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall, on January 22, was the one with perfection and diligence. Under the able guidance of Nartaki Natraj, she began the programme with a Sollukattu in Aarabhi. It continued with a vrittam (Paalum theli thenum) and a Ganapahy Kavithuvam. Annamayya’s kriti, Bhavamulona Bhahyamulandunu in Suddha Dhanyasi presented in the format of a varnam stole the show. The jathis woven into the piece was typical of the Tanjore quartet. The charanam ‘Hari avataramulae’ was marked by poses. With accuracy and hasta mudras, she brought out each avataram _ Matsya, Kuurma, varaha, narasimha, vamana etc, alive on stage. Similarly in the charanam ‘Vishnuni Mahimalae Vihitha Kharmamulu’ she lucidly brought out the conversations between Prahalada and Hiranyakashipu and how the latter is quelled by Lord Narasimha. In the Shivathandavam piece (raga Siva Ranjani) effectively she portrayed 18 karnas. The recital ended with a Kamas thillana. The performance was supported by Randhini (vocal), Mayuram Viswanathan (mridangam) and Sangeetha (violin).