An artist to watch out for

Manasvini Ramachandran performing at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai   | Photo Credit: R. RAVINDRAN

It is a pleasure to watch young dancers blossom into artists. Manasvini Ramachandran, daughter and disciple of well-known Melattur Bharatanatyam dancer Revathi Ramachandran, and disciple of ace choreographer Sheejith Krishna, is one such aspirant. Driven by a new urge to excel and to improve her skill sets, she has taken giant strides in her artistic journey.

Dressed in a beautiful orange costume set off with a colourful fan in shades of green and red, Manasvini’s geometry of movements, grace and excellent timing, came to the fore in the cleverly choreographed invocatory by Guru Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer, the Dharuka Vana Mahalinga Kavuthuvam (Sankarabharanam and Todi, Adi).

The Khamas daru varnam ‘Maathe’ composed in Sanskrit-Kannada by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, was however a new experience, as it was a modern-day visualisation by the 22-year old dancer. Teaming up with mridangist M.S. Sukhi, who composed the jathis, Manasvini’s opening sequence was long drawn out and complicated, the absence of verbal punch lines was felt as Sukhi’s style of accompaniment does not emphasise rhythm, only the fillers between steps. Manasvini is also trying out a new vocabulary of expansive steps. From the outside, one understood the synergy between the percussionist and the dancer. The rhythm for the tattu-mettu was on the other hand enjoyable.

The second jathi sollus incorporated the beginning words of the anupallavi, ‘Shatodari Shankari’ in the tisra-dominated piece. This too carried the new vocabulary. There is nothing wrong in exploring new steps or new combinations, art has to be open-minded to survive, but there should be a judicious mix of the experimental and the traditional.

The charana section was remarkable for three reasons — tisra infusion into the chatusra beat of the song; interrupting a charana swara with solukattus in tisra and interpreting ‘Shyame’ (the dark-hued one) as one as dark as the rain-bearing clouds and ‘sakala bhuva sarvabhaume’ (empress of the entire universes) and depict pretty visuals of rain, plants growing, flowers blooming and the presence of animals to complete the cycle of life. The full-circle arudis in the charana section were also interesting.

The padam ‘Netru Andi Nerattile’ (Husseini, Rupaka, Subbarama Iyer) deals with a woman who has witnessed her beau flirting with another woman the previous day, and questions him about her identity. It is not anger, but there is curiosity and a tinge of jealousy that he responded to the other's overtures. Manasvini was too mild, too forgiving a nayika for the situation.

Manasvini proved her rhythmic mettle in the shudda nrittam piece once again. This dancer is slowly but surely coming into her own.

Accompanying the young dancer were Revathi (nattuvangam), Preethy Mahesh (vocal), Rijesh Gopalakrishnan (violin) and Sujith S Naik (flute).

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 3:16:38 AM |

Next Story