Interesting interpretations

Mythili Prakash

Mythili Prakash   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan


The maturity showed even in little things as Mythili Prakash performed

Mythili Prakash twirled onto a darkened stage, lit only by a horizontal beam of light from the wings, and as she struck a pose, Subramania Bharati’s ‘Sivashakti koothu’ (Sivashakti, Adi, tuned by Lalitha Shivakumar) began. As the devotee joyfully proclaimed the divine mother in the pallavi ‘Tagat tagat..’, the dancer’s movements were athletic and precise. She was accompanied by full-throated singing (Sushma Somasekharan), a la Mythili’s musician brother Aditya Prakash, who accompanied her earlier; somehow one feels her style is much suited to this music.

The sringara-bhakti padavarnam on Andal, ‘Aatkolla vendum Aiyyane’ was an original, penned by mridangist G.Vijayaraghavan, tuned by K. Hariprasad in ragamalika. The varnam jathis (Mythili) had interesting ideas woven in, such as the phrase ‘Dheenutha tha dheem’ used as a refrain and the sudden doubling of speed in the theermana adavus in one, the repeated ‘kitatakatharikitathom’ sollus throughout the tisra jathi, etc.

Mythili is known for her sharp and often fiery nritta; that being said, it was less fiery but no less sharp this time. The energy and clean lines came as no surprise then, but the detailing of the interpretive portions was unexpected and very impressive.

Maturity showed in little things — in her general demeanour, and specifically in instances such as in Devi’s expression in the invocation and during the varnam when the heroine recollects her childhood friendship with Krishna, she watching him in admiration as a child and as an adult, the face showing the contrast between the then and the now, while in the same seated posture. The delineation for each line held interest — the physical aspect of wanting to be his conch, close to his lips, of wanting to be Adisesha, his snake-bed, et al, as well as the garland episode in the line ‘Soodi thandaal’. There was no theatrics, but the more powerful alternative, restrained role-play.

The highest point of the recital was, however, during the welcome of the untrustworthy friend in ‘Unnai thoodu anuppinen’ (Saveri, Adi, Ghanam Krishnaier), when anxiety at the delay turns to an excited welcome, which turns into shock on noting her friend’s dishevelled appearance and the subsequent anger at the recognition of betrayal. The transition from mood to mood was handled delicately. Mythili should, however, face the audience a bit more. The narrator in ‘Rusli Radha rusla Madhav’ (Yamunakalyani, etc) was an amused bystander detailing the effects of the standoff between Radha and Krishna; Sivaprasad (mridangam) played very sensitively to enliven the drama in Gokul. Mythili's other supporters, Kasi Aysola (nattuvangam) was always on point while Ishwar Ramakrishnan (violin) along with the singer created poetic melody. The recital concluded with a faster tempo Swati Tirunal Dhanashree thillana (Adi) and winded down with a Yamunakalyani prayer ‘Dhava vibho Prabhu’.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 3:05:16 PM |

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