Dance

A Kuchipudi performance with energetic footwork and drama

Showing the way: Seetha Nagajyoti  

It was refreshing to watch an archetypal Kuchipudi repertoire after a long time. Being a derivative of the original Bhagavata Mela performed by male artistes alone, the dance form appears to lay stress on drama, footwork and exaggerated gestures vis-a-vis other classical dance forms. Unless nuanced and refined with sensitivity, Kuchipudi still retains its fairly unpolished structure where the emotive ingredient is either lacking or is hyperbolic in expression.

“Krishnarpanam” (Offering to Krishna) was an attempt to string together various compositions relating to Lord Krishna to justify the title and also maintain the customary Kuchipudi repertoire like Jati swaram and plate dance as part of Tarangam.

The pupils of gurus Seetha Nagajyoti and P. Nagajyoti presented solo and group pieces with energetic footwork and drama. Abhinaya Nagajyoti, the best in solo, imbibed from her gurus the artistic bends and curves so inherent to the finer aspects of the solo in this art form.

Her “Krishna Shabdam” was a sprightly dance where she excelled in both footwork patterns and abhinaya. In the druth kaal (speed cycle), she could have taken more care on the clarity of hastha mudra.

The highlight of the evening was the veteran guru Seetha’s crisp solo abhinaya of an extract from the popular “Bhama Kalapam”. She portrayed the bashful Satyabhama who is questioned by her sakhi to reveal the name of her beloved (Krishna).

“Siggaye no yamma...” (I’m engulfed by shyness) saw Seetha enact the reservations the nayika has in uttering the name of her husband in tune with the women of ancient times. Her varied postures and facial expressions for the repeated refrain were convincing to the core. Her agility in movements were commendable. Though brief, the guru made a tremendous impact on the audience with her simple costume and minimalistic makeup. Her presence and performance elicited spontaneous applause.

The show was hosted at CSOI auditorium in New Delhi.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 10:17:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/showing-the-way/article29288482.ece

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