Dance

Mahati Kannan — Graceful and promising

Mahati Kannan .

Mahati Kannan .

Born into a family of musicians and dancers, it is not surprising that young Mahati Kannan has blossomed into a promising artiste. At the Music Academy Virtual Dance Festival, 2022, she began with ‘Gaja mukha naadhan’, a kavuthuvam taken from a 300-year-old manuscript. A musically rich piece, it had sollus and lyrics flowing seamlessly.

To commemorate the centenary year of K. N. Dhandayuthapani Pillai, Mahati chose a jathiswaram composed by him. Since it was based on raga Hamsanadham, Mahati’s aunt Padma Subrahmanyam had choreographed it using the karana movements of a swan and Mahati gracefully captured the gait and flight of the bird. The highpoint was when the swaras ‘dha ni dha ma’ merged beautifully with the movements.

Presented with ease

The varnam chosen for the evening ‘Vanamala Sri’ was composed by Kunnakudi Venkatrama Aiyar in raga Valaji. Beginning with the Krishna Thulabaram episode, it went on to the tried and tested episodes of Krishna stealing butter, breaking pots, and teasing gopis for sancharis, along with the Vamana avatar. Mahatimoved from one expression to another with ease. Alternating between vocal and instrumental music in each line of the varnam made for a rich aural experience.

‘Madura Madura Meenakshi ‘ in raga Bageshricomposed by Swami Dayananda Saraswati followed,where suggestive abhinaya and simple gestures were used to portray the goddess Meenakshi.

The joy of rhythm and movement was explored in the ‘Gati beda prabhandam ‘ composed by Padma Subrahmanyam in raga Kedaram with lyrical inputs from Isaikavi Ramanan. The musical ensemble consisted ofGayatri Kannan on vocals, B. Kannan (veena), Nagai Sriram (mridangam), and Sruti Sagar (flute).

The choice of songs focused more on suggestive sancharis for abhinaya, ideal for a young dancer.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 5:19:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/mahati-kannan-graceful-and-promising/article38297693.ece