DANCE The three solo Bharatanatyam performances at the Ananya Nrithyollasa displayed a fine command over the medium

Ananya Nrithyollasa-4 was conducted recently by Ananya, Bangalore, with three solo recitals of Bharathanatya by Naveen R. Hegde, Sai Santhosh Radhakrishnan and Soundarya Srivatsa respectively. Recorded music was used for all performances.

Naveen R. Hegde began with the ragamalika and talamalika ‘Jaya Janakiramana’ by Annamacharya. Paying obeisance to the Lord in his multiple manifestations, and enumerating his various attributes, the artiste displayed a fine command over the basics. Vibrant rhythms were accentuated by clear and emphatic footwork and stances. Serious intent and potential were apparent in the ensuing item, the varna beginning ‘Swami Naan Unthan Adimai’, a composition of Papanasam Sivan set to Nattakurinji raga and adi thala. Suffused with devotion to Lord Siva, the one whose very name defies and stalls death the yearning for the Lord as contained in the lyrics, was portrayed effectively. Beautiful jathis were performed with excellent stage coverage and laya control and the interpretative aspects presented with a commendable degree of involvement. The inclusion of an abhinaya-centric item would have rounded off the performance nicely.

Sai Santhosh Radhakrishnan’s introductory Mallari in Gambhiranatta raga and adi thala was performed with agility and verve. The focal point of the segment was ‘Nithyakalyani’ set to ragas Kalyani, Shankarabharanam, Thodi, Kamboji, Nayaki, Bhairavi, Mohanam and Bhupalam, and rupaka thala. A paean to the Mother Goddess, Devi was depicted here as the embodiment of beauty and compassion, the slayer of demons and the protector of the universe. The piece was gently evocative, yet underscored by elaborate choreography, demanding jathi patterns and subtle histrionic components, each of which was negotiated with ease. Superb recorded nattuvangam and vocals by Adayar Lakshmanan imbued the presentation with the essence of tradition and classicism. Pangs of remorse and the agony of separation were delineated from Krishna’s perspective, with restrained abhinaya, in the ashtapadi beginning ‘Mamiyam Chalitha’, set to a soulful Hamirkalyani raga.

Soundarya Srivatsa’s consummate artistry, maturity of expression and experience were introduced through the ‘Tillai Ambalam Shabdam’ in ragamalika and mishra chapu thala extolling the presiding deity of Chidambaram and his cosmic dance. Excerpts from Kalidasa’s ‘Shyamala Dandakam’ preceded an exquisite representation of Lingaraj Urs’s composition ‘Sringara Lahari’ in Neelambari raga and adi thala, interspersed with compact pure dance sequences that reaffirmed the technical prowess, clarity of line and movement of the artiste. The Purandaradasa devaranama in Kapi, ‘Jagadoddharana’ in adi thala, was suffused with vatsalya bhava, punctuated with a sense of wonder and awe at the childhood pranks of one who is in fact the saviour of the universe. The concept of Shiva as the personification of nada and the soul of the Sama Veda, from whom the saptaswaras emanated, was expounded in the Thyagaraja krithi ‘Nadathanum Anisham’ in Chittaranjani raga and adi thala. Fluid nritta passages and depictions of different facets of the Lord, appended to the phrases ‘Samaveda Saaram’ and ‘Sargamapadhani Varasaptaswara’, emphasized and highlighted the theme.

The evening was well organised with an appropriately brief felicitation interlude, effective lighting, quick transitions between items and clear announcements.