Dancer Kiranmayee's performance was graceful and poised

CLASSY MOVEMENTS Kiranmayee on stage

CLASSY MOVEMENTS Kiranmayee on stage  

Bharatanatyam danseuse Kiranmayee impressed with her excellent expressions and deft footwork

Sahityanjali (a salutation to lyrical compositions) was Bharatanatyam danseuse Kiranmayee’s way of paying obeisance to the great masters of Carnatic music who had made music immortal, so to say. She chose five different compositions from five composers (vaggeyakar) set in five different languages to five varied raga and taal. And a common thread that strung them together was bhakti (devotion) that went well with the theme of this performance. Keeping the cosmopolitan audience in mind, the dancer also gave a crisp exposition of each song since they were mostly in south Indian languages barring one in Sanskrit.

Her Shyama Sastri’s composition on Mother goddess ‘Shankari, shan kuru (create tranquillity) Chandramukhi...’ in Saveri, which was her opening statement, was also the best of the rest that followed for more than one reason. The innate cadence of this raga in itself can create the required emotion without words to supplement it. And the lucidity of the lyric conjures a picture of the goddess who is at once powerful, fierce, compassionate, gentle, loving and full of grace. Kiranmayee brought the lyric alive through her excellent mime and footwork.

Showcasing divine qualities

Her entry with lithe footwork to sheer swarbhol was mesmerising. The mudras that conveyed the divine qualities vested in goddess Shankari, consort of Shiva, were brought out by the dancer with clarity and a facial expression that was able to hold both the goddess’s attribute and the dancer’s devotion in describing the deity. Her darting footwork to sanchari brought a sense of the unique to her dance. It is these individualistic sparks in artistry that differentiate one artiste from another and give them an edge over the other in a solo performance in the same genre. Kiranmayee shows promise and potential to make it to the top in the young crop of dancers around. The muktayi (round off) was here the vocalist’s (Chander Rao) prerogative who gave it an impetus rounding it off with a swar bhol.

The Thyagaraja Pancharatna kriti ‘Saadinchane...’ in Telugu set to Arabhi raga served as the centrepiece (in place of a varnam) by its sheer length and complexity. Kiranmayee could bring alive the various lines of the lyric with short instances of story-telling interwoven carefully into the lines of lord Krsna’s varied pranks/tact. The undertone of sarcasm in the lyric wherein the composer hints that he (a devotee) is devoid of the machinations adopted by his lord Krsna many a time. And this, the dancer indicated through scenic depiction of gopi vastraphaar (stealing gopis clothes), the Gita upadesh (Bhagwad Gita) and various faces and phases of Krsna’s love, viz to his mother and to gopis. Here again, the artiste’s abilities stood out in detailing the bathing gopis in the river with a mischievous Krsna taunting them to come up and take their clothes from Him atop a tree! She was able to alternate her abhinaya between a shy, resistant gopi refusing to get out of waters and an inviting lord to finally a musically- mesmerised gopi who is oblivious of her state walking in a trance towards Krsna who is playing the flute. It is these finer aspects of artistic expressiveness that testify to a dancer’s involvement with her art. To Kiranmayee’s credit, it should be admitted that she visibly seemed to enjoy and experience her art thereby internalising it, for, even with nritta (pure footwork sans scope for emotion), she displayed an emotive connect which was amazing. The live orchestra ( mridangam by Thanjavur Keshavan, Raghavendra Prasath on flute, NC Raghunandan on the nattuvangam) was a bit too loud and were trying to go overboard much to the inconvenience of the dancer. The show was hosted at India Habitat Centre.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:12:59 AM |

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