NATYA Deepa Raghavan excelled in the pure dance passages and was a picture of poise. VIDYA SARANYAN
Deepa Raghavan’s Bharatanatyam performance for The Natyarangam Trust at Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall was noteworthy for the clean geometrical lines tempered by grace.
The dancer, who is currently honing her skills under teachers A. Lakshman and Bragha Bessell, stuck to the basics of Margam and began her recital with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. The introductory Pushpanjali struck a vivid note from the very beginning and poses representing the elephant god were artistically delineated.
The music composition by the veteran Balamuralikrishna in Aarabhi made a good impression as it combined theme and movement with brevity. The choreography for this song as well as the varnam and the thillana was by A. Lakshman.
Deepa’s interpretation of ‘Mohalahiri Kondaen,’ the Thanjavur Quartet composition in Thodi and Adi talam, was an amalgam of rhythmic sequences and adequate emoting.
Conveyed with her eyes
Blessed with large eyes, she was able to use them to convey the underlying idea of the sahitya dedicated to Krishna or Rajagopala succinctly. Yet one felt that the varnam would have touched greater heights had she also strengthened it with a little more emotion.
The dancer was able to gloss over a few rhythmic discrepancies in the early course of the varnam and steadied herself as the performance progressed. It was her enjoyment in pure dance and in rising up to the rigours of the pure dance passages that she excelled and established rapport with the audience during the varnam.
The next poem by Vidyapathi in Yamankalyani and Adi tala composed by Jamuna Krishnan was a charming depiction.
Deepa brought in shades of humour and evoked the brazen cheek of Krishna’s claims of his innocence. Here, the artist was at home in showing how Krishna denied all instances of infidelity even in the face of visible proof.
‘Jagadhodharana’ the famous Kannada lyric in Kaapi and Adi talam, was strongly imbued with devotion arising out of the poet’s wonder at the precocious child. Deepa’s dexterity in portraying contrasts between the Omnipotent Lord and the infant who was nurtured by Yasodha, melded with the creative touch in the lyric that had been set to dance by Bragha Bessell.
Thillana, a Lalgudi Jayaraman creation in Mand, was a melodious presentation of pure dance performed with confidence and was well supported by vocal music of Nandini (not to be confused with the vocalist Nandini Anand) and L.Subhasri’s nattuvangam, mridangam by Karthik and violin by Kalaiarasan.