Scored more with expressions

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Natya Faultless sense of timing and expressive abhinaya come naturally to Sangita Vasudevan. Rupa Srikanth

Poise: Sangita Vasudevan. Photo: Chella
Poise: Sangita Vasudevan. Photo: Chella

W hat strikes you most about Bharatanatyam dancer Sangita Vasudevan is the experienced air about her. She is comfortable on stage, very alert with timing and very expressive, and she does it all so naturally. Sangita's recital was about maturity and poise, even though one felt she scored more with her expressions than with her adavus.

Sangita is a senior disciple of guru Rhadha and ran a dance school in California until recently. Her sparkling, expressive eyes are her biggest assets. They conveyed the depth of her understanding and visualisation in the Bhairavi varnam (‘Mohamana,' Rupaka, Ponniah Pillai) and in the Suratti padam (‘Indendu Vachitivira,' misra chapu, Melattur Kasinathaiyya). They also added energy to Sangita's nritta.


The lyrics of the varnam picture a maiden who is suffering the indifference of the hero (Thiruvarur Tyagesa) and Sangita remained faithful to the theme. The elaborations regarding the Thiruvarur Car Festival and the Golden chariot used by Siva to destroy Tripura, the three cities inhabited by Tarakasura's sons, were well-illustrated.

The choreography included some interesting rhythmic passages including the pancha nadai korvais in the charanam. While Sangita's timing was enjoyably faultless, the steps had an extra grounded-ness that led to a dip in energy. Like it or not, a sense of athleticism or vigour has crept into the Bharatanatyam vocabulary and is here to stay.

Guru Rhadha (nattuvangam) conducted the recital with diligence. She was ably supported by Dhananjayan (mridangam), who was also very expressive in the elaborations. Sikhamani's (violin) melody was strong and clear that evening and Bhagyalakshmi Sikhamani (vocal) was tuneful for the most part. Her clear enunciation was noteworthy.



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