A performance by Rajeswari Sainath marked the anniversary celebrations of Keyes SchoolOn the 125 anniversary of the prestigious Keyes Girls School at Secunderabad, Rajeswari Sainath, with the support of her students paid her tribute in the form of a Bharathanatyam recital. It was perhaps the best accolade an old student could recompense and in the process she offered her heart and soul. The three-hour programme kept the audience awestruck. Rajeswari is an artist who has an inborn astuteness and the unique skill of innovating choreography at the spur of the moment when she judges the mood of her audience. Difficulty seems to stimulate her! The evening's programme was one of weighty classicism, pure and chaste.
Arresting performanceTwo items covered almost the entire programme, the varnam for about 45 minutes and the item, Sruthilaya, which was a creation of Guru Karaikudi Mani. Varnam is a classic item in Bharathanatyam, where the artist comes out with the best of his/her learning and application. If one wondered at Rajeswari's stamina in this technical episode, the spirit and cheer displayed at the end of the event, was even more arresting. The item had all embellishments, where the laya predominated. Take for instance, the movement. Passing from vilambam to madhyamam and from dritham to atihidritham. The transition from one to the other was smooth and interlinked and yet the overall time scale was rigidly retained. Only a connoisseur could notice this mystery. To combine abhinaya and footwork to this complicated reflection was amazing. The nattuvangam was not only exquisite, but the ease and the confidence for this episode was significant. The other item, Sruthilaya which was an incredible concept of Mani was based on the ingenious orchestra, largely governed by rhythmic ecstasy. It was a ragamalika and thalamalika combined. At the end of the item one could conclude that this episode can be the work of Karaikudi Mani only. Among Rajeswari's disciples mention should be made of Gita and Sangitha, the twin sisters. The talented daughter of Rajeswari, Vaishnavi was given a minor role along with her colleagues Asheitha and Neivita. The nattuvangam for the program by Srinivas was outstanding but the sound system and the stage arrangements including lighting called for improvement. The vocal music being tuned to a low sriti was rather poor and the melodic content failed to impress the gathering. The volume of the flute was excessive and all in all, it was a thoroughly imbalanced support. In essence, it was a performance of sentiments, elegance and love of details combined with masculine and feminine themes in a basically harmonious form, carefully avoiding confusing details. Every bit was relished and enjoyed by the entire audience. B.R.C