Blend of bhava and technique

Margam magic Swetha Prachande

Margam magic Swetha Prachande  


Shweta Prachande took rasikas through an emotional journey through her margam

It’s not often that you notice a young Bharatanatyam danseuse find the right balance between the grammar of a rich dance form and surrender to the bhava of a number with such candour. And it’s also not often that a dancer breaks free from the style of a guru like Priyadarshini Govind and carves a niche on the stage. Chennai-based Shweta Prachande in her inaugural performance for Lasyakalpa’s annual dance festival Mukuram held at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad, charmed and surprised many with her margam.

A brief virutham in the name of Lord Muruga was where it all started, describing him as the vanquisher of Surapadman and a dutiful son who does his magnanimous father Shiva proud. The alarippu composed by dancer-choreographer Aadith Seshadri borrowed richly from Thiruppugazh, made for a pleasing invocatory number. Terrific postures, brisk neck movements elaborating the salient features of Lord Muruga in a piece set to Misrachapu talam was just the confident start that Shweta needed to warrant a rasika’s interest.

The danseuse was in her element with the Swati Tirunal-composed Sumasayaka varnam in Kapi ragam. Voicing the plea of a sakhi to relieve her friend (the nayika) from the pangs of separation in the absence of the Lord Padmanabha, she lived up to the challenges posed by the contrasting jatis with her striking nritta portions. The piece was interestingly paced, making the audience root for the sakhi and empathise with her plight.

The Kshetrayya padam Choodare Adi Nadiche Hoyalu (in Sahana ragam) was the sweet spot of the presentation, where a coy nayika expresses her readiness to become one with Lord Krishna, only to become a talking point among those many around her. The sanchari bhavas of the opening lines clearly defined the extent to which Shweta was into her part - the well-defined movements, striking eyes dwelling upon the shringara rasa with an element of mischief and subtlety.

A javali on similar lines, Sarasamuladedenduku, a work of Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar in Kapi ragam, saw Shweta present a nayika’s excuses to thwart the man of her dreams from publicly displaying his affection for her. The dancer’s swift responses to the pacy charanams were an apt showcase of her adaptability to alternate between various speeds and holding her own with her agility.

A tillana by T Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar uniquely composed in the Hindustani raga Purvi took centre stage soon. The exquisite execution of the intricate steps with her vigorous footwork to the brisk jati passages (with the dominant swaras) yet again showed Shweta’s command over her nritta.

Abhangs, which have become a regular feature of margams in the recent years as a concluding item, found a place in Shweta’s lineup too. Through the Marathi piece Vrindavani Venu, she utilised the expansive stage space to express the devotee’s heartfelt admiration for Krishna. Bhakti conveyed through beautifully expressed motifs of nature including the mountains, (the dancing) peacocks, animals in Shweta’s piece reminded of the poet Bhanudasa’s rich visual imagery. Through the evening, the dancer was at peace with herself, enjoying her performance and letting bhava supersede her sound technique.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:41:00 AM |

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