Dance Male dancers enthralled the audience in the second edition of Nataraj Nrityotsav held in Visakhapatnam. VELCHETI SUBRAHMANYAM

Nataraj Music and Dance Academy’s two-day second edition of Nataraj Nirtyotsav — festival of male dancers — offered a visual treat to dance aficionados at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. Featuring an array of dances, it was a mélange of classical dances. It brought the young talents in Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dance to fore in its entire exuberance. The fest, in a way, put the masculine majesty in kinetic idiom on view in abundant measure.

Notwithstanding an uninspiring ambience of a blank stage with no proper background and stage decoration worth the term festival, they essayed well to present the best of their performances making full use of the given slot of about twenty minutes each. It was a unique experience for the viewers to witness a piece on Lord Nataraj in almost all the performances in succession unfolding varied facets of Siva thandavam in different dance forms. In postures, movements and expressions in varying degrees of excellence, it was truly a visual treat. With Kuchipudi taking the lion’s share of the performances, it, in a way, unveiled diverse shades of Kuchipudi in its radiance.

Vijayawada-based Ajay Kumar stole the show through his scintillating presentation of ‘Jakkula Purandhri’ in Kuchipudi idiom. He brought forth the age old Kuchipudi tradition of man playing woman role with verve. The fluid ease and command over various aspects of portrayal of female character that he displayed were simply superb. His refinement and dignity testified his enviable grasp of the grace and grandeur of Kuchipudi in its entire vibrancy. Particularly his portrayal of bewitching Mohini, who ladles out the ambrosia churned out of the ocean of milk by the deities and the demons and its attendant details such as the emergence of Kamadhenu, Kalpavrikham etc in the process held the viewers in thrall. The applause that he received was justifiably roaring.

Another performance in the same idiom that wowed the viewers was that of Hyderbad-based Venkat. He presented Ardhanaareeswaram with panache. Performing both lasya and tandava aspects of the dance in quick succession, he delineated the indivisible male, female principles in the creation with gusto. Shanv. S from Kerala and local artiste Laalit Kumar Gupta were the others that took part in the Kuchipudi section.

In the Manipuri segment, Manipur-based Sinam Basu Singh danced Jayadev’s Ashtapadi ‘Haririhamugdha’ that dealt with description of Lord Krishna by the Gopika to forlorn Radha in Vrindavan. He lent an alluring expression to the romantic shades of the composition in subtle and agile vocabulary of Manipuri. In perfect coalescence of rhythmic grace in movement and lyrical charms of expression, he outlined the exquisite splendour of the cupid in the piece Kamadev.

Sachikant Pradhan and Rudra Prasad Swain, in the Odissi category, put their admirable talents on view, while the former danced Siva Panchak, the later presented the advent of monsoon in an exceptional manner. With wonderful grip over diverse and intricate aspects of Odissi, both the artistes delivered sterling performances. In the Bharatanatyam slot, Kolkata-based Baldev Debaldev Jana exhibited remarkable mastery over majestic aspects of the dance. He presented a piece on Nataraj and a tillana with élan