Shafeekuddin and Shabana executed the themes with élan

The duo’s bhava-rich presentations and well-synchronised footwork offered a rich visual treat for the rasikas at the mid-year dance festival

Shabana inherited her skill set from her dancer-mother, her first guru. “Though I learnt, I did not take dance seriously till my marriage. My husband set my dance regimen and we began learning under the Dhananjayans, our role models in dance, and life,” says Shabana.

As for B.K. Shafeekudeen, after trying his hand at a few Western and semi-classical choreographies while at college, he developed an interest in Bharatanatyam and decided to pursue formatted learning under Kalakshetra Kamala Devi at Malayala Kalagramam, Mahe. Later, he trained under the Dhananjayans, visiting Chennai at regular intervals and making an impact with his thematic presentations ‘Krishna Bharatam’ (2016), and ‘Bharathiyar’ (2017). “I had performed earlier at the Music Academy but this is the first time we have done a duet at the mid-year festival,” says Shafeekudeen.

Shabana and Shafeekudeen started their recital with an invocation to Lord Ganapathi — ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ a composition of Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar in raga Mohana Kalyani, talam Adi and choreographed by the Dhananjayans.

The main piece ‘Nrithyopaharam’ based on the padavarnam ‘Narayana endru naan’ penned by Kalyani Rajaram, set to music by Vanathi Raghuraman in Kiravani was choreographed by Shafeekudeen. In this rare piece, the duo brought out deep devotion to Lord Vishnu and delineated a few of his incarnations. Well-synchronised in footwork and facial expressions, watching it was a comforting experience.

“Whenever I present or choreograph a piece, I do a deep research into the topic. When I did a small Devi piece, I read through the entire Devi Mahatmyam. Whenever in doubt, I clarify with my gurus, the Dhananjayans,” says Shafeekudeen.

The padam in Malayalam, ‘Thwal Paada Sevanam’ penned by Sadanam Harikumar in Sankarabharanam extolled Lord Siva. Shafeekudeen’s choreography was apt and executed with alacrity. Ashtapadi ‘Saa Virahe’ in Darbari Kanada, choreographed by the Dhananjayans, described Radha’s pangs of separation. Thillana (Dhanasri raga), a composition of Swati Tirunal, was choreographed by Shafeekudeen.

Jayashree Ramanathan on the nattuvangam, Hariprasad on vocals, Payyanur Rajan (mridangam), Dr. Vijayaraghavan (violin), and Sasidharan (flute) provided excellent support.

“It is not often that people of our community pursue this art. All we ask is to be evaluated only for our dance,” says Shafeekudeen.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 1:51:37 PM |

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