DANCE Pallavi Krishnan's Mohiniyattam was subtle and graceful

The third Mohini Nritya Utsava featured Pallavi Krishnan, one of the countries leading Mohiniyattam exponent. With her post-graduate degree in Kathakali, trained and specialised in Mohiniyattam under Bharati Shivaji and later under Kalamandalam Sugandhi, Pallavi occupies a special place. Commencing with the Ganapati stuti “Ajam nirvikalpam”, the dancer created an immediate rapport with the audience. Aesthetically costumed, the dancer moved onto a self-choreographed Dashavatara. Traversing the stage in an organic flow, the lyrical aspect of the form embellished with Pallavi's subtle, graceful circular movements. Neat attamis, correct eye movements and the contact with the rasikas delineate perfection. In “Dharani Dhara”, Pallavi's linear, circular movement adapted from the linear circular chuzipoo to exhibit the Kurma Avatar, the restrained graceful, semicircular movement while delineating the Krishna during “Keshava Dhrita” spoke of the dancer's practice. The maddalam effect to execute characters like the “Sukara Roopa”, Hiranyakashipu, and Narasimha spoke of the choreographer's brilliant knowledge in music artistry. The “dhit dhit tai” step while dancing the “Jaya Jagadhishahare”, the matured abhinaya while executing the Rama-Ravana fight sequence during “Dashamukha mouli” spoke of the dancer's maturity in handling abhinaya diligently. The Iryaimman Thampi's padam “Chendar Sayaka Roopa” depicting the lovelorn nayika's endless wait for her beloved was performed with aplomb. The Swati Tirunal Dhanashree thillana choreographed beautifully with a combination of meivazhakam, chuzipoos, the various charis derived from “Natya Shastra” with the circular adavus congruous to Mohiniyattam set Pallavi's recital apart. Pallavi's dance is excellent; her chin bent at a perfect angle, the body projecting suppleness with years of assiduous training. Her correct usage of the mudras taken from “Hastalakshana Deepika” and “Balarama Bharatam” comes from her perseverance.

Aishwarya Warrior slotted in the second part of the festival, commenced her recital with a Ganapati Stuti set to raga Yaman Kalyani in Karika Talam. With the three compositions by Kavalam Narayana Panicker, one enjoyed the typical Sopanam style of music as devised for Mohiniyattam by him. Ganesha moves slowly on Mooshika and while depicting the same, Aishwarya brilliantly depicted Ganesha encircling his parents. Neat circular movements with the singer keeping beats through the Chengila and diligent effort on the mridanga by Swati set her recital apart. Urmila, Laxmana's wife was the pivoting theme for her second item. The “dhit tit tai, dhi tai ta dhrimi tat tai” swara after every charanam with the dancer executing the same with correct circular adavus projected Aishwarya's assiduous training. Her abhinaya nuances were poignant when Urmila pines for Lakshmana which causes her realisation of Sita's pain too. Aishwarya concluded aesthetically with Suryashtakam.

PRABAL GUPTA