An interesting repertoire

He impressed with his choice of pieces and choreographic touches

Lokesh Raj, faculty of Kalakshetra, opened the recital with ‘Pithannin Pidatral’, a philosophic and rhetoric narrative rendered by Lokesh himself with suitable voice modulations and sincere expressions, which could well be audible in a compact place like Kasturi Srinivasan Hall at the mid-year festival of The Music Academy.

The Tamil lyrics, precise and poetic, penned by Raj Kamal, were nectar to the ears. It was a choreographic endeavour by Lokesh to decipher the mystic; was he man, monarch or messiah? Lokesh could well carry out this piece without the percussion support of Guru Bharadwaj (stuck in the weekday traffic jam) who arrived in time as the virutham segued into the jatiswaram. Set in ragam Bhairavi the traditional jatiswaram was poised and firm. His seniority helped the dancer manage when the singer sang by the book. “I blended the Pandanallur and Kalakshetra choreographies in this piece,” said Lokesh.

‘Kamalajasya’, Dasavataram composed by Swati Tirunal in Ragamalika and Adi talam was the chosen main piece. Choreographed by Rukmini Devi Arundale, it had the inherent scope for both nritta and sanchari. While not being restricted to apportion equal time to each avatar, the insterspered jathi, swaram and sahityam kept the pace interesting. Kudittametadavu with feet in nagabandham, showing muni with diagonally placed hands, Kathi adavu to show sword fights, etc. popularised by Rukmini Devi were nostalgic markers of a choreography of that era.

‘Payyada’, Ksetrayya padam in Nadanamakriya set to Tisra Triputa talam, choreography of Bragha Bessell, was a moving piece of the evening’s recital. After underlining the lament of the rejected agonised woman from the nayika’s perspective, for the majority of the padam he played the male character, of the indifferent lover in third person, which suited his persona.

He concluded with ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’, a sonorous musical piece tuned by Pt Bhimsen Joshi in the Dharwad style. Beautifully choreographed by Lokesh, in this piece he covered the center and every corner of the stage with pleasing moves and palpable joy. The alapadmam mudra of the teermanam transitioning into the lotus seat of the goddess, photographic depictions of the adornments of the bejewelled Lakshmi from varied angles, and Janaka observing his little daughter scurrying away; were some of the many eye-catching moments.

Rakesh on nattuvangam, Hariprasad on vocal, Guru Bharadwaj on mridangam, Ananthakrishnan on violin and Sasidhar on flute provided the orchestral support.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2020 2:42:05 AM |

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