Of artistry and virtuosity

Priyadarsini Govind

Priyadarsini Govind   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


Dharani Kalotsav showcased captivating music and dance recitals

​​​Dharani Kalotsav, an annual dance and music festival in Kochi, had a fine line-up of veterans and up-and-coming Bharatanatyam dancers.

Jyotsna Jagannathan impressed the audience with the varnam ‘Moham aginen inda velayil’ in Kharaharapriya raga. Her neat adavus and clarity in execution stood out, although there were slight lapses in rhythm in the jathis. This was noticeable even in the first speed of the mallari in Gambheeranatta, which was performed earlier.

Jyotsna Jagannathan

Jyotsna Jagannathan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Her abhinaya stood out, as the nayika expressed to her sakhi her obsession for Nataraja. She sketched Shiva’s form, his locks and his dance with fire in his hands. As he dances in the ponnambalam, the nayika says, her heart dances in love for him. The choreography of the uncomplicated jathis was sans frills and hence retained the old world charm of Bharatanatyam.

This was in stark contrast to ‘Ardhanari’, a piece which had a more contemporary and stylistic choreography. This piece expressed the non-duality of purusha and prakriti. It had alternating swara and jathi passages that were well-structured.

Sayani Chakraborthy with her firm footwork and dynamic dance language brought a lot of energy into her performance on the second day with the classic Bhairavi padavarnam in Roopaka tala ‘Mohamana en meedil’. However, jerky movements in several places dampened the performance. In the varnam, though the choreography in the nritta segments was not without merit, the abhinaya left much to be desired.

As the nayika, she did not explore the potential of experimentation while describing the city scenes of Tiruvarur and Tyagesha’s omnipresence. The dancer was spot on in her expressions in the padam ‘Momujoopura’ in which Yashoda asks Krishna to show her his mud-smeared face and she sees the whole world in his open mouth.

Sayani Chakraborthy

Sayani Chakraborthy   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Sankaran Namboothiri’s Carnatic music concert on the third day stood out for its classicism and creativity. There was not a dull moment in the concert and the vocalist with his expressive voice gave life to ragas Hindolam and Sankarabharanam. Good pitching, tonal variations and modulations embellished his singing.

Though his raga alapanas took the fast route, he fared remarkably well in the swara prasthara section for the kriti ‘Manasuloni Marmamu’.

The mathematical permutations in the swara patterns were spontaneous and fell into place.

The piece had able percussion support from Balakrishna Kamath on the mridangam. Edapally Ajith evoked melody and bhava in his Sankarabharanam rendition on the violin. The Muthuswamy Dikshithar composition ‘Dakshinamoorthe’ was expressively sung by Namboothiri and what followed was the unusual feat of singing a detailed niraval and ornately arranged swaras in the rarely attempted Jhampa tala.

Sankaran Namboothiri

Sankaran Namboothiri   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In her ‘abhinaya only’ concert on the final day, Priyadarsini Govind held the audience in awe with only padams and javalis. The most outstanding of all the pieces performed was the parakeeya nayika in ‘Sivadeeksha paruralanura’, a composition of Ghanam Seenaiyah in Kuranji raga.

In what was a controlled performance, the dancer poured life into the character, who is committed to the Shaiva cult, but is wholly taken up by her love for Mannaruranga. Through still moments, poignant with feeling, the dancer conveyed her turbulent emotions with her eyes.

Similar was the depth and intensity that she brought into a swadheenapatika nayika in the ‘Kuruyadunandana’ ashtapadi.

In stark contrast, in pieces of a lighter vein, like ‘Eeshopihalahalam’ the dancer brought in the humour remarkably well when troubled by the fights between the members in his family, Siva decides to consume poison.

Promising artistes Yogesh Kumar and Anjana Ramesh performed in the ‘Young talent’ slot.

The programme was organised by Dharani Society, Kochi.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:50:09 AM |

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