Dance

A vibrant festival

Bhanumathi’s students performed in the signature Mysore style, blending style and emotions

The year 2018 started with a two-day long grand festival held at Sri Ganapathi Seva Samiti temple, actively conducted by the Saraswathi Trust in Bangalore.

This auspicious start saw the disciples of Guru Bhanumathi open innings with ‘Poorva Ranga Vidhi’ according to the Mysore style, started by the erstwhile Mysore kings. Palace tradition always performed ‘Poorva Ranga Vidhi’ in place of Alarippu to invoke the gods and offer their salutations to the king. This particular piece in raga Hamsadhwani and aditala , taught to Guru Bhanumathi by K. Venkatalakshamma, was presented in the original, adopted in group choreography. Guru Bhanumathi’s disciples went on to perform ‘Jaya Janaki Ramana’ in Kalyani Raga and adi tala, in a group choreographic work in praise of Sri Narayana. The dancers described the manifold activities of Janaki Vallabha Rama, striking poses and friezes of Narayana meaningfully to express different episodes in his various manifestations. These may be likened to the concluding line of a written essay. The eulogy of Sharada of Sringeri seeking the blessings of the goddess of learning and music followed the same pattern. Dancers performed in the signature style of their guru, blending pure dance and emotions. Raga Hindolam tillana in praise of Lord Nataraja rounded off the evening. The style of performance displayed the bani as propagated by Guru Dandayuthapani Pillai, under whom Guru Bhanumathy trained. The display had much professionalism, however the technical aspect which marks the genre, could perhaps be practised to perfection.

Bharatanatyam dancer Pratibha Ramaswamy, a student of the Kalakshetra Bani imbibed from her guru M.R. Krishnamurthy took thestage next evening. An experienced performer and teacher, possessed with a lissom figure, she extolled the qualities of Devi. Her abhinaya piece was a Bragha Bassel choreography, it was in Khamas Raga and Rupak tala. Jalandhara Stuti praised Shiva and she ended with Jagadodharana, a composition by Purandara Dasa.

ICCR sponsored N. Srikanth and Aswathy, the ace dancers of the festival commenced with ‘Gaja Vadana beduve’ by Purandaradasa and struck an immediate rapport with the rasikas.

Varnam ‘Amma Anandadayini’ by Bal Murali Krishna wasa flawless rendition of Bharatanatyam, taking the ardhamandi pose even as his torse is kept straight makes Krishna a competent dancer. The jatis the duo presented together was breathtaking in its beauty, design and rendition.

The two of them provided pure delight. In a Purandardasa composition, child Krishna the prankster, performed by N. Krishna was easily identifiable. From his emotive quality it was not difficult to gauge the false promises he was making to his mother, that he will never be naughty again. The piece was thoroughly enjoyable. Aswathy’s solo was taken from a melodious composition of Vaggeyakara Uthukadu Venkata Kavi. Young Krishna’s flute music cannot restrain young maidens from decking up and making a bee-line to him. She excelled in this. ‘Shankara Shri Giri Nath Prabhu’ retold in detail the life of Nataraja as penned by Maharaja Swati Tirunal interspersed with a tillana of G.M. Balsubramaniam.

Their synchronization of movements were perfect to the last detail. Creation of rasa and technical perfection of the Bharatanatyam genre are their hall marks.

Noted Bharatanatyam exponent Dr. Poornima Ashok along with Sanskrit scholar Dr. Shankar Rajaram were given the prestigious Saraswathi Educational and Cultural Award.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 7:45:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/a-vibrant-festival/article22619563.ece

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