RUPA SRIKANTH

Revathi Ramachandran's presentation was charming in a quiet, relaxed way.

Revathi Ramachandran's recital had diverse offerings. One was a solo narrative on the Tamil Shaivite saint, Thiruneelakantar, and the other was an ensemble Shudda Nrittam piece, but the sincerity behind each was similar.Each stood as examples of good, honest dance. A catchy musical score based on songs from the 1939 M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar starrer, `Thiruneelakantar' with inputs from the Periapuranam and from Kathakalakshepam artist Janakiraman, grabbed attention in the first segment. Clearly, the musical team comprising Veeraraghavan (vocal), Shyam Sundar (nattuvangam), N.K.Kesavan (mridangam), Kalaiarasan (violin) and Bhavaniprasad (veena) were having a good time as the olden goldies rolled out one by one.It was this music that dominated all the way. Revathi made room for the seven Papanasam Sivan songs from the movie, though they were not always in tune with the story. This `story in story' treatment gave rise to some ambiguity, but who can complain when they hear such good music sung with so much bhava. Songs like the devotional opening, `Chidambaranatha' in Hemavathi, the catchy `Deenakarunakarane Nataraja' in Navroj and the melodious `Oru Naal Oru Pozhudu' in Khamas were the most enjoyable.Revathi handled the tale with enough clarity, and gave the roles of the seductive temptress, the enraged wife and the repentant Siva bhakta their due. She made room for spurts of pure dance in tisram and chatusram nadais, that were well-planned and executed. The abhang-style music of `Deenakarunakarane' was portrayed in the manner of a bhajana sampradaya with the kanjira adding depth to the folk beat. The show was charming in a quiet, relaxed way. Braving the faulty sound system and the dusty floor, nine dancers including Revathi, richly attired in gold tissue and silk, gave a Shuddha Nrittam display, in a challenging pancha nadai, pancha gati format.A wide range of percussive instruments like the chendai, the suddha maddalam and three tones of mridangam gave the tri-naada nrittam special flavour. Each nadai was given an introduction in a slower tempo, after which the gati was taken up at a faster pace. The crowning glory came when the group together performed the sollus as a dialogue with the kuraippu and arudi following in quick succession.