Margazhi Festival

Just a medley

Bharatanatyam dancer Deepika Reddy performs at Krishna Gana Sabha. Photo: R. Ravindran

Bharatanatyam dancer Deepika Reddy performs at Krishna Gana Sabha. Photo: R. Ravindran   | Photo Credit: R RAVINDRAN

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Energised by the title, Nritya Choodamani, conferred on her the day before her performance, Deepika Reddy began her Kuchipudi programme on a vibrant note with a prayer, Kuchipidi Vandana. Beginning with the flapping of ears of an elephant, slowly ideating the form of Lord Ganesha, the dancer offered her prayers to Lord Siva, Bala Tripurasundari, Sharada and Lord Surya. The fast-paced circumambulatory movements of her arms captured the radiance of the sun in all its glory.

Moving away from the traditional repertoire, the dancer chose to explore the poetic vision of Rabindranath Tagore in ‘Ravinder Kavindar’ by depicting three female characters from his creations —Chitrangada, Chandalika and Shyama. In this ragamalika, talamalika composition, with lyrics by Pappu Venugopal Rao and musical score by D.S.V. Shastry, Deepika used the Patra pravesh daru to portray the characters. She tailored her movements and abhinaya to convey the distinct identity of each character and she was able to communicate their diversity with conviction.

The composition of Swati Tirunal in Sankarabharanam was danced to by her students, Shravya Reddy, Mihira Pathuri, Pooja Reddy, Srinivasa Shreya, Pragnya Surapaneni and Gayatri Narni.

The contrast of incorporating lasya movements at appropriate moments enhanced the dynamism of the nritta, but, by and large, it was mostly group dancing with a few formations.

The classic javali of Dharmapuri Subbaraya Aiyar, ‘Parulanna Mata Nammavarku,’ in Kapi showcased the dancers’ abhinaya skills. Speaking about the various women trying to entice her lord and her entreaties, cajoling and pleading with her lord trying to convince him about her devotion to him, were brought out with varied sancharis effectively.

The next two items were again a group effort involving the dancer and her students. One wonders whether this is a new trend, where a show is projected as solo, but a major portion is done by a group.

‘Nritya Neerajanam’ in praise of the Kuchipudi art form did not highlight the stylistic features and nritta of this style, but was focussed on simple movements.

Tharangam, another speciality of this style where the dancer shows her skills in footwork by dancing on a brass plate, was woven into a dance drama format portraying stories from Lord Krishna’s life. The impact of dancing on the plate was rather lukewarm and lost in the overall narrative structure.

Musical support was provided by D.S.V. Shastry (vocal and cymbals), Rajagopalachary (mridangam), Saikumar (violin), V.V.S.Murali (flute) and V. Phaninarayana (veena).



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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 3:15:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/chennai-margazhi-season/just-a-medley/article6694199.ece

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