NARTAKA Guru Dhananjayan led the team with his sensitive abhinaya. Rupa Srikanth

V eteran dancers Shantha and V.P. Dhananjayan presented ‘Narthaka-Narthanam,' an all-male Bharatanatyam performance with the students of their dance school, Bharata Kalanjali.

The young men made an excellent impression with their control over laya, their agility and their co-ordination as a team.

Naturally, their show spelt power and precision- just imagine the sum total of the energy and vitality of seven young male dancers dancing in perfect tandem!

The presentations were mostly rhythm-oriented, but kept your attention nevertheless because of the interesting sollus, the dynamic movement patterns and the excellent music.

Very creative

The most creative that evening was the ‘Nam di' Chol, composed by Ramesh Babu in Rishabapriya raga, misra jaathi Jhampa tala, and dedicated to the lord of percussion, Nandikeswara. Every phrase of the sollus had a ‘nam di' and its rendering according to the nadais employed, was poetic to hear and see. Here, Shantha ceased to be a nattuvanar, she became a dramatist, while Ramesh Babu (mridangam) provided strong accompaniment to offset the dancers' bells and to highlight the plethora of tisrams, chatusrams and misrams used. It was performed by Gopu Kiran and Venkatakrishnan. Another rhythmic winner was Swami Dayanand Saraswati's ‘Bo Shambo (Revati, Adi) that used rhythm, friezes and mood music to create a devotional fervour. It ended with four Sivas (Anand Sachitananda, Shafeekudin, Uthio Barua and Suresh Sridhar) doing the rigorous Tandava simulataneously. What a sight! In between there was one small break, a window that opened onto a landscape of emotions with Dhananjayan's evocative bhakti-laden ‘Oru nerum engilum' (Dwijavanti, Adi, made famous by K.J.Yesudas).

As the veteran admired Guruvayurappa's beauty as a devotee, he posed for a moment as the child Krishna with one hand holding a lotus and another a club. The innocent expression on his face and the subtle change in the body language spoke volumes about the dancer's sensitive abhinaya, as no words can.

The interjection of the bhajan, ‘Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardhana' in between was enjoyable.

In this vibrant scenario, the melodic trio cannot be left behind. N. Sashidharan (vocal) was in fine form with full-bodied melodies while Kalaiarasan (violin) and Sunil Kumar (flute) provided melodic highs all through.

Umesh Bhimanna was the other vibrant young dancer who performed.

The group closed with a Yaman Kalyani Nrithya Angahara (Adi) as a tribute to Reji George who composed it and B. Rajesh Kumar (son of Adyar Balu, mridangam vidwan) who choreographed it. Both the artists are no more.