Dance

Shobana's aesthetic performance

Shobana

Shobana   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

Firm footwork and an emotive face lent an edge to Shobana’s dance

The ample scope and freedom of expression that classical art forms offer, help artistes choose the path they wish to travel. While some dancers may find happiness performing to a small group of connoisseurs, some others like Shobana want their art to be communicated even to the uninitiated and plan their repertoire accordingly.

Shobana began her performance with a Thodayamangalam in ragamalika, before moving on to the centrepiece, the varnam ‘Srinivasan perumai’ in raga Shanmukhapriya composed by Lalgudi G Jayaraman. It showed the arduous journey a devotee undertakes to reach the top of the seven hills and the joy he/she experiences on getting a darshan of Lord Balaji.

The stories of Ahalya and Kuchela were taken up as sancharis and were explored at length. The depiction of Kuchela’s poverty was slightly over done — the characters were made to look like beggars. The nritta sequences were a combination of firm footwork and postures. Though Shobana’s command over laya and movements made her sail through the nritta segments with ease, one wished more depth in the approach.

Emotions well conveyed

The emotions of the heroine were beautifully conveyed through eye movements for the line ‘Sarasija netrudu’ in Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar’s padam ‘Janaro’ in raga Khamas. The ploys of the gossiping women in the Kedaragowla Kshetrayya padam ‘Emandu’ and the portrayal of child Krishna in the Purandaradasa kriti ‘Jagadhodharana’ were delightful. The manner in which she depicted the little child seated on his mother’s lap, gaining in proportion, suggesting the Viswaroopam, was an impactful sequence.

Preeti Mahesh provided vocal support, but the frequent use of brigas in padams and javalis could have been avoided. Ananta R. Krishnan on the mridangam, Kalaiarasan on the violin, Muthukumar on the flute and Srividya Sailesh on the cymbals provided able support. The huge figurative painting on the fan of the costume wasn’t visually aesthetic.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 8:28:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/accent-on-bhakti/article25889934.ece

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