Inimitable artistry


Purva Dhanashri’s performance was like a master class in performing arts

Art lovers of Bangalore were recently witness to a unique event, “Dances from the Telugu land”, organised by the Nrutyankura Foundation. The event began with a performance featuring Chitra Nrityam by Rekha Satish. In this performance titled Simhanandini, the artiste sketched a lion with her feet with dance movements. It was preceded by a prayer to Rajarajeshwari in the traditional style. As it was mentioned during the event, the artiste (who is proficient in Kuchipudi) had recently learnt this form and was presenting it for the first time. It was evident that she had not internalised it completely and yet she did a good job for a first timer. Such pieces need years of practice and internalisation so that the presentation can move beyond technicality to art. I am sure with more practice, Rekha will gain expertise in this form.

The next performance was by Dr. P. Ramadevi, an eminent scholar, who performed the Leelavati Vijayam which is broadly classified under Dadinamma kalapam / Vesham. The performance was better suited for a lecture demonstration rather than an evening concert. This piece seemed very repetitive in the portrayal of lament of the damsel in distress. The piece seemed under rehearsed and was not impactful. However, the orchestra was simply superb. The yakshagana maestro Sri Sesha Subbugaru conducted the show with gusto. Shweta Prasad sang brilliantly. The Mukhari, Abheri and Dhanyasi were top class. Renuka Prasad and Rajesh also provided wonderful support in the mridangam and voilin respectively.

Inimitable artistry

The main performance of the evening though was Vilasini Natyam by Purva Dhanashri and it was a like a master class in performing arts. She commenced the performance with a Vinayaka Prarthana in Mohana Kalyani. The entry was vibrant and it was amazing to watch her immerse herself in the performance from the word go! Her eyes pierced through the ethereal and visualised the Vinayaka with much authenticity to her descriptive imagery. This was followed by a verse/ churnika in Arabhi enunciating the offering of the balbhoga (naivedya) and flowers to all the eight directions. The ashta dikpalakas were portrayed with crystal clear imagery and the mudras used for all the different pushpams were a treat to watch. The kalyani jatiswaram that followed, brought to life all the vintage, characteristic Nritta of the Vilasini Natyam style. The artiste merged in the raga and literally personified the raga sancharas with grace and perfection. It was intriguing to notice the extensive use of hamsasya, the graceful pataka, ardhachandra and a uniquely articulated alapadma, flow with the lalityam of the raga aptly. The koravai beginning with the tarasthayi rishabha choreographed with a free flowing shikara hasta was in particular very sculpturistic. At the end of every charana we could literally feel a temple around us as she sat in her Poorna Mandi and collected the aura and energy of the temple.

What followed as an estuary of emotions in a collage of two ashtapadis of Jayadeva. With trembling hands and every nerve in her body committed to the sthayi of viraha, Purva painted the agony and melancholy of Radha in Radhika Tava Virahe. With multitudes of poetic expressions, she took the description of viraha step by step to its culmination. The one particular interpretation that stood out from the rest was the serpent of desire rising from the depths of Radha and strangling her with the poison of separation. This was art!

In the Kosala raga Ashtapadi Pravisha Radhe, the Sakhi unites Krishna and Radha. The Sakhi asks Radha to engulf herself in Krishna. The initial inhibition of Radha and her eventual complete submission to Krishna was built up beautifully. In the final crescendo of the piece, her depiction of the union of Radha and Krishna was profound. Radha laps up the nectar that Krishna is, and absorbs him into her self. She becomes Krishna!

It was indeed a delight and unforgettable experience to witness Purva’s inimitable artistry.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:33:42 PM |

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