The veteran wields the cymbals and guides the orchestra with an inherited mastery coupled with experience. Guru Kalyanasundaram spearheaded ‘Nrithya Samarpanam,’ hosted by the Fine Arts Society, Chembur, and presented by Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir, Chembur chapter, at Sivaswamy Auditorium.
After a melodious invocation song ‘Ganapathiye, Karunanidhiye’ by Vidya Harikrishna, Saipriya Vishwanathan’s gentle veena strokes and Kumar Krishnan’s melodic flute notes ushered in the Guru stotram.
Trademark Kavuthuvams of the Natya Mandir were methodically performed by the groups. The end notes of Ganesha, Subramanya and Om Namah Sivaya accentuating the poses, were sung on a high octave by Vidya Harikrishna. Various combination of adavus were presented in Swaramala set to Ragatalamalika.
‘Naadanai Azhaithu Vaa’ varnam in Khambodi, Adi, had the protagonist questioning the delay tactics and indifference of Kartikeya. Expressing the pangs of separation, she shuns food and sleep. Ornaments and beauty enhancements are not for her. Sending a scroll to the Lord, she emotes her condition. The rhythmic jathis and swaras were defined by sets of dancers in a well-proportioned, neat and synchronised arrangement. Bharathi Salil Murthy, granddaughter and disciple of Guru Mahalingam Pillai, executed the abhinaya segments and tattu mettu sequences.
‘Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai’ had many poses of Krishna. Purandaradasa’s ‘Jagadodharana’ in Kapi was an emotive solo by Bharathi, highlighting the images of the Paramapurusha from Vamana to Vishwarupam.
‘Sita Swayamvaram’ from Kamba Ramayanam in Ragamalika, Adi talam, was graphic and engaging. Aarti Jagannathan’s Tiruppavai, (Bhoopalam, Adi,) was melodic and precise. Tillana in Nattakurinji, Tisra Ekam, composed by Guru Mahalingam Pillai was a study in dexterous footwork with synchronised straight lines and diagonal movements, conveying the ecstasy of rhythm. Besides disciples of Vasant Kumar, disciples of guru Karunambal (Bharathi Murthy, Mallika Valsalan, Jyothi Gupta, Kavita Ramachandran, Aarti Jagannathan, Gayatri Kannan, Vidya Subramanian, Priyadarshini Varadharajan and Sruthi Rao), professionals like Kanchana Ramamurthy, and a few others living in another city, all came together to partake in the proud journey of 74 years.
Orchestra team comprised of Vidya Harikrishna on the vocals, Rajesh Srinivasan on the mridangam, Saipriya Vishwanathan on the veena, Kumar Krishnan on the flute and R C Shekar on the ghatam. Nattuvangam was by Kalyanasundaram, Vasant Kumar and Harikrishna Kalyanasundaram and stage management was by M. Vishwanath. The event was dedicated to G. Karunambal.
G.G. Bharathan, Chairman Emeritus and Ganesh Kumar, Chairman Board of Trustees, FAS, and Rajasekharan from Saraswathi Vidyalaya, Chembur, felicitated the orchestra members and dancers.
“It is the effort of four earlier gurus and four present gurus of the institution, that has ensured that our tradition is nurtured for next gen,” said Ganesh Kumar. He lauded guru Kalyanasundaram’s eye for perfection and said that FAS wasindebted for his guidance. G. Vasant Kumar, Director of the Natya Mandir, honoured the guests. In his reply in Tamil, guru Kalyanasundaram thanked FAS and Saraswati Vidyalaya for the event and training space.