Two celebrated dancers belonging to the great classical dance form of Kathak gave two exhilarating performances at the Khincha Auditorium, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, at ‘Nazaakat', organized by Indian Council For Cultural Relations under the Horizon Series in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Nadam, which is celebrating 25 years of its inception.
The two renowned artists are Guru V. Anuradha Singh from Bhopal representing the Raigarh Gharana and Guru Jayanthi Eshwarputhi representing the Lucknow Gharana.
Anuradha Singh who has a strong footing in Kathak domain is known for her highly energetic performances which won her many accolades and awards. She commenced her dance with a song on Lord Shiva, “Shiva Shiva Shambho Maha Bali Shiva...” which speaks of the sheer power and strength of Shiva and his all-pervasive quality that is filled in the beginning and in the end - “Adi Anthi Shiva.” She donned the roles of both, the worshipper and the worshipped in her presentation.
She presented Tatkaar (footwork ) that showed her prowess and great stamina required to keep the footwork in sync with the rhythm. It was astounding.
Apart from her powerful rhythmic movements, hand gestures and eye work, the stunningly attractive costume of ghaghra-choli and beautiful jewelry made her presence on stage enchanting. With her evocative presentation she unlocked the gates of imagination - she enacted a few Thukras that lent a charismatic aura to her dance. She depicted a fish in water, the rising sun, a honeybee hovering over a flower, a hunter riding a horse hunting a deer and she continued with a spin crescendo that began with two spins and reached 21 spins at one go.
She wrapped up her presentation with a tillana in Hamsadhwani aditaal to a violin and pakhawaj jugalbandi. She mesmerized the audience with an ethereal performance.
Jayashri Eshwarputhi has established herself as a great performer and great teacher also in the realm of Kathak dance. Her opening piece on Ardhanaareshwara, “Om Ardhaangai Shivaayay namah ‘conceived by Pandit Birju Maharaj conveyed the spiritual energy as well as the fierceness of Shiva and gentleness of Uma, showing the binaries of creation and destruction aspects impressively. Jayashri presented Tatkaar powerfully and moved on to showcase her micro movement of eyes, wrists and finally the whole-body pirouettes, or chakkars.
In the Jayadev Ashtapadi, “Chandana charchita...” she unveiled many facets of her dancing calibre when she performed the peacock dance. Jayashri infused the mythological mood before presenting the Jayadeva Ashtapadi. The melodious influence of the rendition and the overpowering ambience of the dance form conveyed the theistic idea very well. Decorum of characters, delineation of emotion as Radha eagerly awaits her love was beautifully depicted.
Though every Gharana has a strict pre-given style and structure, Jayashri has increased the aesthetic value by her knowledge of Bharatanatyam also.
She displayed great attention to detail. Her performance ended with a recital of Sankirtan, music by Praveen Rao and vocal rendition was by Ganesh Desai.
Both the exponents, Anuradha and Jayashri, provided apt explanations.
The audience gave a hearty ovation to the dancers who brought out the beauty, subtlety and rigour of Kathak.