Dance

Review: Young dancers take the stage at Soorya’s ‘Parampara’ festival

The stage was decked up in style and the dancers did their best to match that grandeur at this year’s Parampara Dance Festival. The ten-day-long event almost looked like a celebration of Bharatanatyam, with eight performances in the genre, starting with Dakshina Vaidyanathan on the opening day.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Dakshina Vaidyanathan at Parampara dance festival

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Dakshina Vaidyanathan at Parampara dance festival   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

Dakshina wasn’t quite in her element that evening and the Dikshitar varnam Rupamu juchi... was not as fascinating as it could have been. However, she made up for it in the rest of the pieces, the best of which was a depiction of Annamacharya’s Momu jupara... in Behag that showcases an endearing dialogue between Yashoda and Krishna.

The opening Ganapati talam was refreshing, while in the Vrikshanjali piece that followed, the dancer paid tribute to trees. She concluded with a thillana in raga Desh.

Evocative abhinaya

Lavanya Ananth excelled in her mastery over abhinaya. Her portrayal of the nayika in the varnam Manavi chei kona... was an enriching experience. The nayika enters the temple in awe and is astonished at seeing the idol as the doors of the sanctum sanctorum opens before her.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Lavanya Ananth at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Lavanya Ananth at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

The conflicted heroine in Shivadeeksha paruralanura... who couldn’t leave Mannaruranga out of her mind while offering her prayers to Lord Shiva and the one who is not happy with her lover’s inappropriate actions in the Pattabhi Ramayya javali were all equally captivating.

Shweta Prachande was dazzling on stage as usual. After opening with a virutham and an alarippu, she moved on to Subbarama Dikshitar’s varnam in Surutti. She did her best in the role of the Sakhi trying to convince the hero about her friend’s love towards him. The dance sequences set for the jathis were elegant and Shweta was flawless in her presentation as well.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Shweta Prachande at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Shweta Prachande at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

Swathi Thirunal and Kshetrayya padams were presented afterwards but they weren’t as compelling. However, she managed to conclude her recital on a high note with a thillana in Poorvi and a mangalam in praise of goddess Madurai Meenakshi.

Portraying the Nayika

Navia Natarajan opened with Shivaspanda and as the studio recorded music was rather elaborate, the dance became less prominent. She made a comeback in Mohamana enn midil..., a Bhairavi varnam by Ponnaih Pillai of the Tanjore quartet.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Navia Natarajan at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Navia Natarajan at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

Navia effectively conveyed the Nayika’s emotions towards her lord. She came good in the dance portions, except that at times she lacked finesse. Balakrishnane baaro..., a Purandaradasa devaranama in raga Yamuna Kalyani, and a Desh thillana were the other items that she presented.

Jyotsna Jagannathan started off with a beautifully imagined opening piece — a mallari depicting the procession of Nataraja. She continued with Muthu Thandavar’s Theruvil Varano..., which features a heroine hoping for Nataraja to turn back and give her a glance of compassion while the procession goes by her home. Lalgudi’s popular Charukesi varnam Innum enn manam... was the main piece.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Jyotsna Jagannathan at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Jyotsna Jagannathan at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

Jyotsna did well in sharing the Nayika’s state of mind with the audience and her earnest appeal to Krishna, asking him the necessity of all the drama! She continued with Purandaradasa devaranama Chikkavano ivano..., which also had Krishna as the hero. A thillana in Sankarabharanam was the final piece.

Something different

Divya Devaguptapu, an enthusiastic dancer, was keen to present something different. After a pushpanjali in raga Kedaram, she presented Ehi manmathakoti sundara..., a Sriranjini varnam composed by Tiger Varadachariar.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Divya Devaguptapu at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organized by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Divya Devaguptapu at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organized by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

The highlight of her recital was Pensive Sita, a choreographed item based on Chinthavishtayaya Sita, a Malayalam poem by Kumaran Asan, set to tune by vocalist Sreedev Rajagopal. The poem delves into Sita’s thoughts the day before she sacrifices herself to mother Earth. Divya could effectively bring out the poignant mood of the character. She then presented Iddari pondelara..., a spirited javali in raga Senjurutti before concluding with Muthiah Bhagavatar’s ‘nottuswara’ a.k.a. ‘English note,’ combined with Annamacharya’s Mayamohamu...

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Kirti Ramgopal at ‘Parampara Dance Festival’ organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Kirti Ramgopal at ‘Parampara Dance Festival’ organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

An air of calmness prevailed as Kirti Ramgopal proceeded with her recital. She brought in some distinctive features to her dance, which was evident in the opening piece itself — a mallari in Gambheera Natta — followed by Alarippu in Misra Chapu tala. Then Kirti presented Vilwamangalam Swamiyar’s Sree Krishna Karnamrutam, set to the varnam format by Janaki Jayaprakash in raga Hindolam. The varnam covers different tales of Sree Krishna. She excelled in the dramatic portions, switching between roles. A Marathi abhang followed, in which she presented a fallout between Krishna and Radha and their eventual reconciliation. An Amritavarshini thillana was the concluding item.

For those who were not familiar with Divya Unni’s dancing abilities, her recital proved to be a pleasant surprise. She opened with an item in praise of the goddess and was at ease while switching between different forms of Parashakti. Maye, manam kanindarul..., a varnam in Simhendramadhyamam, was the main piece. She did well during the narrative parts, which included the scene in which the goddess overpowers the demon Mahisha. An extra-long dance interpretation of Jagadodharana... followed.

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Divyaa Unni at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Bharatanatyam recital presented by Divyaa Unni at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

The way she connected narratives involving Yashoda and Krishna and the way she enacted them without tiring the audience were praiseworthy. She was impressive in the dance portions as well, be it during the jathis in the varnam or during the thillana at the end.

Vibrant presentation

Prateeksha Kashi is known to be a a vibrant Kuchipudi dancer and this time too it was no different. She started with a swift piece — Vande vande vani bhavani..., paying her respects to the goddess of Kuchipudi village, and a daravu in praise of Lord Shiva.

Kuchipudi recital presented by Prateeksha Kashi at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Kuchipudi recital presented by Prateeksha Kashi at 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

She bettered herself in the items that followed, by making the expressive part also count. The way she improvised certain situations in the tarangam and enacted the role of Yashoda during Jagadodharana... were instances that reflected her command over abhinaya.

During the course of the tarangam, she skilfully replicated the jathis while dancing on the brass-plate. The narration of Prahlada’s story in Karunayavalokayama... was quite engaging. Having Vyjayanthi Kashi as her nattuvanar, adding vachika wherever required, further enhanced the performance.

Odissi recital presented by Uthara Antharjanam at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya

Odissi recital presented by Uthara Antharjanam at the 'Parampara Dance Festival' organised by Soorya   | Photo Credit: Hareesh N. Nampoothiri

Uthara Antharjanam certainly showed some flair in her Odissi recital. While she appeared more proficient in the nritta aspects, with some striking postures in between, she seemed yet to reach that peak to make her abhinaya captivating and the recital profound. The recitals were held as part of the 40th edition of the annual Soorya Festival.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 8:09:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/delightful-performances-by-young-classical-dancers-at-sooryas-parampara-dance-festival/article20464680.ece

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