Talent honed by training

Anjali Narayanan

Anjali Narayanan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Ashwini’s performance glowed with experience. Young Anjali displayed a sincere approach

Music is so integral to a Bharatanatyam recital. The lines of beauty blur when the vocalist and the dancer merge in one composition and item, making it rise above mediocrity. So when the Ashtapadi, ‘Kshanam Adhuna’ in the wistful Dwijavanti was being sung, the dancer matched the melodious vocal (Nandini Anand) to come up with a lovely interlude between the nritta driven portions of the recital.

The dancer in question — Ashwini Viswanathan — trained by none other than Jayanthi Subramaniam and now getting guidance from Leela Samson, showed the best of the tradition being taught to her by her illustrious teachers.

She began her programme at the R.K. Swamy Auditorium with verses from Soundarya Lahiri and Devi Mahatmiyam, both moving and setting the tone for the recital.

The Goddess is a powerful subject for dance, especially when it comes to the description of beauty and power. Both these works abound in them and the bhava was evident in this.

Energetic and swift

The Dharu, ‘Maathe,’ in Khamas was rendered with the right amount of energy and swiftness that was a good foil to the earlier pieces that were like slow ballads. The jati patterns showed the dancer’s grip over the technique but some inconsistencies in the stance need to be taken into account especially in the racy parts. Also the vocalist in some portions, went into a really low pitch not quite a match to the otherwise sublime singing.

In the second half the nritta, brisk and yet tempered, was a pleasure to watch. It drew attention to the resemblance she has with her guru!

Ashwini Viswanathan

Ashwini Viswanathan   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM


A Javali, ‘Samyam Idhae,’ was simply rendered — the nayika appealing to the lover to come fast; there are no interferences she says and the moon too is up! The entreaties were dealt with in a matter of fact manner. It worked. This was followed by Grahabedham, a Lalgudi Jayaraman composition, which was in the place of a thillana, a fitting finale to the recital. Again, in this piece the nritta patterns were neatly brought out by the technique and proper footwork.

These days musical accompaniments are of high order in many recitals. And here too it was not any different with excellent vocals, adept and tight nattuvangam (Satyapriya Iyer), impeccable rhythm support (Nellai Kannan), and absolutely delightful violin playing by Kalaiarasan.

Mention must be made here of the small interlude before the Ashtapadi. It sort of established the mastery over the instrument on the part of the artiste.

Anjali Narayanan, another student of Jayanthi Subramaniam, also displayed training and talent in her performance at the Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall. However, the experience was marred by the presence of the videographer, who stood right in the middle of the aisle making viewing so difficult.

Anjali began her recital with the Nandi Chollu-Chollkattu followed by a song in Vasantha and Tishra Nadai Adi talam, a composition of Adyar K Lakshman.

Geometrical precision

An exacting guru, Adyar Lakshman was insistent and always particular that the dance has to reflect geometry — a vision in precision, even while standing and even more while doing the araimandi. Anything falling short would meet with his question, “Sofa natyam adaraya? (Are you doing sofa dance?) something young dancers need to remember. Anjali was near perfect but when the stance occasionally went a tad awry, one couldn’t help recalling his words.

The Varnam — ‘Angayarkanni,’ a Ragamalika and in Adi talam, a composition of Lalgudi G. Jayaraman is a beauty, lending itself to lilting Plus, the entire composition in praise of the Goddess and all her dimensions, lends itself not just to the nritta but also the emotions that each dimension produces. The dancer took this up with gusto and aided by the nattuvangam of the seasoned guru, presented an impressive show.

‘Smarasundaraanguni Sariyevvare,’ the javali in Paras, a composition of Dharmapuri Subbarayar and the Lalgudi thillana in Revathi, comprised the rest of the recital.

Good vocal support by Radha Badri, superb mridangam playing by Nellai Kannan as with the violin by Kalaiarasan, only went to enhance and heighten the appeal of the recital done with utter sincerity and conviction.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 10:12:44 AM |

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