Captivating nritta, sparkling alapana and hardwork by the artists to perform with finesse marked the September Season of Music and Dance organised by Rajalakshmi Fine Arts.
Divyatha Arun is a passionate dancer in Bharatanatyam. Her dance recital at the Seventh annual September season of music and dance under the aegis of Rajalakshmi Fine Arts was characterised by its sharp laya, adavus and footwork. Her flawless and well-balanced pirouettes were evident in the thematic presentation of ‘Moham’ depicting the intense longing of the lover for the beloved not only among the humans but the divine beings as well. The impressive opening of Pushpanjali in Bowli with Thodayamangalam depicted the woman’s deep yearning to her maid. Who is not captivated by the enchanting beauty of Skanda? Her pining appeals to the conch imagining it to be her maid were woven with nritta in the item ‘Kanaa Kanden Thozhi.’ The dancer then moved into the Khamaas varnam to portray that even Gods were no exception to such fantasy. The lyric gave adequate scope to the dancer to prove her skill in nritta and abhinaya.
The episode depicting the end of Bhasmasura in Nilakanta Sivan’s kriti, set to music by Chandrasekhara Bhagavathar, gave a good impetus to Divyatha to prove her mettle in sync with the theme of the song. Dharmapuri Subbaraya Aiyer’s Javali gave full scope to the dancer to shine with her sparkling theermanams. The lyric described the heroine’s pain once she is struck by the cupid’s arrows on seeing the Prince.
The concluding Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi in Mukhari and Thillana — the tour-de-force of the recital — were dramatic in content and bhakti bhava. The artist’s vigorous adavus and firm araimandi stance were noticeable in her style. The dancer had exemplary support from the orchestra with Girija Ramaswami lending vocal support, Kannan on the violin and Viswanathan on the mridangam. The cymbals were wielded by Shanmughasundaram.
Well aligned to sruthi, Satyaprakash’s vocal recital in the junior slot to the accompaniment of Govindaraja (violin) and Raghu (mridangam) showed that he had traversed a long way by sheer hard work to become a dependable vocalist. His sparkling start with a varnam in Kalyanavasantham followed by ‘Sri Maha Ganapathi’ (Gowla), had finesse in delivery. His alapanas of Varali and Kharaharapriya were replete with telling musical phrases. The niraval and kalpanaswaras at ‘Paluku Paluku’ for the kriti, ‘Samanamevaru’ were rendered with expertise. Govindarajan’s essay on the violin gave fillip to the vocalist’s impulses. Raghu on the mridangam embellished the compositions suitably.
Srinidhi Chidambaram, a disciple of the Vazhuvur School of dance presented a traditional Bharatanatyam Margam together as Kaavya Thamizh drawing samples of Tamil poems from the ancient to the contemporary times. Dance buffs could see vivacity and intuitional rhythm in the items she presented. Srinidhi commenced her recital with a Pushpanjali extolling Lord Ganesa followed by a hymn from Thiruppugazh. The emotion-soaked varnam from Bharathi’s Kannan Paattu captured the essence of Lord Krishna’s leelas and deceptions. The dancer’s expressive abhinaya conveyed her immense trust in Him. This particular song described the heroine pining for her lover, Krishna. In ‘Vadavarayai,’ taken from Aichiyar Kuravai, Srinidhi conceptualised the divine play transforming herself into the characters she was depicting. Whether it was Krishna stealing and eating butter, Krishna’s hands tied by Yasodha or Krishna as messenger of the Pandavas, Srinidhi’s level of involvement in the characters was total.
The contemporary poem ‘Yasodha’ describing Prince Siddhartha’s transformation into the Buddha deserting Yasodhara was a poignant interpretation. The dream of a young girl (Kalki Krishnamurthi’s poem) about her beloved in Ragamalika, Tisra nadai registered well with the rasikas. The Chatur raga thillana explicating a verse from Kulasekhra Azhwar where a devotee wishes to renounce the material riches to be near the Lord or even to remain as a fish in the pond in His shrine in order to enjoy constant proximity to the Lord was a fitting finale. With Suresh reciting the traditional Vazhuvoor school jatis, the various elements of jati, swara and lyrics blended very well in the concluding thillana. The orchestra included Suresh (nattuvangam and vocal), Radha Badri (vocal), Anil Kumar (mridangam), Sashidaran (flute) and Kalaiarasan (violin). Concept and choreography- Srinidhi Chidambaram.
Earlier in the junior slot, Chitra Krishnan and her daughters, Nanditha Krishnan and Niveditha Krishnan provided a graceful presentation of Krishnarpanam based on the events associated with the life of Lord Krishna. Their elegant performance of the item ‘Thaye Yashoda’ with neat and controlled adavus impressed the viewers. The lilting melody of Lata Ramchand (vocal) with her dulcet notes kept the tempo of the recital throughout. The orchestra included Uma Anand (nattuvangam), Chandrasekhar (violin), Sanjay (flute) and Ganesh (mridangam).