Spotlight on Natya kshetras at BVB festival

Sri Saraswathi Kalalaya students performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s dance festival

Sri Saraswathi Kalalaya students performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s dance festival   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


The two-day dance festival organised by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore, featured a thematic presentation

The 20th dance festival conducted by the Coimbatore Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was held on October 19 and 20. Highlighting the close connection between temples and Bharatanatyam, the festival featured a thematic presentation ‘Nritya Kshetra.’

On the inaugural day, B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, conferred the title ‘Nritya Ratna’ on Senior Bharatanatyam dancer Meenakshi Chittaranjan. That Bharatanatyam evolved in the temples and has sacred undertones were amplified by four dance schools that presented Kshetrams that nurtured Bharatanatyam.

‘Thanjavur Kshetram’ presented by Chitra Kalalaya troupe, began with Pushpanjali and Kavuthuvam. This was followed by Kuruvur Thevar’s ‘Thiruvisaippa’ and Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Brihadeeswaraya namasthe by Guru Jayachitra Santhoshkumar, who is also a practising dancer. She gave a balanced portrayal of the beauty and strength of Siva and her depiction of Kannappa Nayanar for the line, ‘Karuna rasa poorithaayawas moving. They concluded their presentation with Siva Panchaksharam.

‘Thiruvarur Kshetram,’ was presented by Sri Saraswathi Kalalaya troupe. Beginning with a brisk Mallari, they presented Sapta Vidanga Tandavam by displaying the seven modes of movement employed by palanquin bearers of the Utsava murthi in the Sapta Vidanga Sthalams. This was set to beautifully rendered jatis and executed with grace. Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Sri Vathapi Ganapathiye’ in Sahana which is in praise of Ganesha at Tiruvarur, the famous Bhairavi Pada Varnam, ‘Mohamana and ‘Kamalamba Bhajare in Kalyani provided scope for abhinaya. Guru Murli’s choreography and Arun Prakash’s performance with graceful movements and expressions deserve praise.

B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar conferring the ‘Nritya Ratna’ title on Meenakshi Chittaranjan

B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar conferring the ‘Nritya Ratna’ title on Meenakshi Chittaranjan   | Photo Credit: Satish Kanna

On the second day of the festival, the students of Tara Ramesh’s ‘Narthanam school of dance’ presented ‘Chidambaram Kshetram’ in an absorbing and entertaining manner by describing the various mythological legends associated with the kshetram, such as the role of Patanjali and Vyagrapada, the Anandha Tandavam and Urdhva Tandavam. The dancers portrayed their roles with confidence and poise.

‘Thedi Kandukondein,’ a thematic concert relating to inner quest and realisation was marked by stately bearing, evocative abhinaya and fluid grace. Rendered by Meenakshi Chittaranjan and her disciples, the presentation opened with an item based on Thirumoolar’s hymn describing the ecstasy of Lord Siva’s dance. This was followed by Meenakshi’s exposition of one of Thirunavukkarasar’s Thevaram in the form of a varnam with Nayaka-Nayika bhava that shone with sparkling jatis, suggestive abhinaya and Sringara rasa. Thriugnanasambandar’s Thevaram – ‘Siraiarumadakiliye was also an endearing rendition by Meenakshi. They concluded their recital with ‘Thiru anga malai,’ which the dancers performed with precision. Gomathinayakan’s vocal support enhanced the presentation.

The last concert was on Oothakkadu Kshetram performed by students of Sri Abhirami Natyalaya. Guru Parimalam Venkatraman presented the Krishna Leelas associated with the Kshetram and the composer Venkatakavi Subbarama Iyer in a dance-drama format through skilful and engaging choreography.

Beginning with the life of Oothakkadu Venkatakavi through narration and abhinaya, the dancers went on to perform famous songs such as ‘Ananda Narthana Ganapathim,’ ‘Swagatham Krishna,’ ‘Sendru va Radhe’ and concluded with a brisk and colourful Kalinga Narthanam.

The young vocalists, Aneesh Menon for Chitra Kalalaya troupe and Arvind Jayaraman for the other troupes proved their mettle with their deft handling of the songs. The festival was a veritable treat for dance lovers.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 5:26:29 PM |

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