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Classical rendezvous

Hareesh N. Nampoothiri
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Dance Rama Vaidyanathan enthralled the audience through a series of performances in connection with the revival of the SPICMACAY chapter in the capital city. Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

The ‘inauguration’ of the Thiruvananthapuram chapter of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture among Youth (SPICMACAY) saw Bharatanatyam exponent Rama Vaidyanathan performing at three different venues in and around the capital city.

The first performance was at the Senate Hall, University of Kerala, after the formal inauguration of the chapter by violin legend T.N. Krishnan.

The programme started with a Mayur Alarippu which is performed in a five-and-a-half beat cycle. Using the ‘Mayura’ mudra, she essayed the movements of the peacock with grace. It was followed by ‘Navarasa Mohana’, in which she depicted the Navarasas through the reactions of different people towards Sri Krishna, on his arrival in Madhura to kill Kamsa.

She used verses from the Bhagavad Gita, set in Raagamalika, using nine ragas corresponding to the nine rasas.

‘Saddu madalu bedavo, Rangayya’, a composition by Purandaradasa, set in Kalyani and Adi tala, was the third padam that was performed. In this, she depicted one of the gopikas requesting Sri Krishna to stop playing the flute at night and not to invite trouble by waking other members of her family. She concluded the performance with a thillana composed by Balamuralikrishna in raga Dwijavanthi followed by an abhang ‘Utha Panduraga’ by Santh Jana Bhai. Her recital reached a crescendo when she performed the ‘awakening song’ traditionally offered to Panduranga.

On the second day, she performed at Viswabharathi Higher Secondary School, Neyyattinkara, and later in the day at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS). She started the performance at Viswabharathi with an Anjali along with Mayur Alarippu.

She continued with the Navarasa Mohana and a thillana set in raga Varamu. She concluded the performance with the ‘Ardhanareeswara ashtakam’, a verse by Sri Sankaracharya.

At CDS, she started with a Varnam in raga Bhairavi, Roopaka tala. She portrayed how the heroine’s love for Lord Siva intensifies as she approaches the temple city of Thiruvayur and watches the procession carrying the idol of Lord Siva.

“Momoju Pura?,” Yashoda calls Sri Krishna in three different ways in three different situations – this was the theme of her next item. She portrayed the anxieties of Yashoda and the reactions of Sri Krishna in this padam in Behag, Roopaka tala. She concluded with a Varamu thillana and ‘Ardhanareeswara ashtakam’.

On the final day, she had a lecture-demonstration and an interaction with students and researchers of the Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Kerala.

She started the interaction by explaining how Bharatanatyam evolved into a mainstream classical dance form, from the days of Devadasis.

She went through a series of presentations that explained different moods of the heroines in Bharatanatyam, an excerpt from her work titled ‘Vrikshanjali’ and how the jatis become an important aspect of Bharatanatyam. She also shared her views on the art form, recollected her childhood days and so on.

On request, she performed the famous lullaby by Irayimman Thampi, ‘Omanathingal kidavo...’, portraying the warmth between a mother and her child.

The perfection of her footwork, the grace in mukhabhinaya and the beauty of her mudras mesmerised the audience. “Dance is eternal, while dancer is not,” she said during one of her interactions.

Through her performances she proved that the dance that has flown through her all these years would enchant dance lovers for many more years to come.

Accompanying artistes were K. Sivakumar (nattuvangam), Ganesh Prabhu (vocals), Arun Kumar (mridangam) and Viju Anand (violin).


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