DANCEPraveen Kumar and his disciples performed Maha Maya with a fine sense of co-ordination
The valedictory programme of Ragashri Sammelanotsava conducted by Sri D. Subbaramaiah Fine Arts Trust included ‘Maha Maya’, a Bharathanatya feature by Praveen Kumar and his disciples Rupa, Sneha, Raksha, Hemalatha, Divya and Swathi.
The opening mallari set to Gambheeranatta raga, presented by the entire group with exemplary cohesion, introduced the theme with an extract from Shankaracharya’s ‘Sri Sharada Bhujangaprayathashtakam’. The feminine aspect of divinity, as enshrined in the girl child, was elucidated by the lead dancer in an engaging representation of the ragamalika ‘Chinnanchiru Kiliye’. Youthful beauty was delineated on the basis of Deekshithar’s ‘Kanjadalayathakshi’ in Kamalamanohari, performed by a group of three.
The crux of the recital, an elaborate interpretation of Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s daru varna ‘Mathe’ in Khamas raga and adi thala, depicted Devi as both nurturing mother and destroyer of evil forces. Studded with agile footwork and appropriate sancharis, absorbing choreography including all dancers in varying combinations was executed with absolute co-ordination, a fine sense of timing and understanding. The dual aspects of the Goddess, brimming with vatsalya towards Ganesha and Guha, and as fearsome destroyer of Mahishasura, were conveyed effectively. Human qualities were attributed in the subsequent item portraying the dismay of Parvathi’s mother at her devotion to Shiva, apparently a mere mendicant and an ascetic.
The concluding thillana was a bright mosaic of multiple rhythms. Outstanding support was provided by D.S. Srivatsa (vocal), Prasanna Kumar (nattuvanga), Narasimhamurthy (flute), and Srihari Rangaswamy (mridanga).