Krishna all the way

Vidya Anand performing at Bharat Kalachar, Chennai

Vidya Anand performing at Bharat Kalachar, Chennai   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

The presentations by the three dancers, however, were different

Three performances and three different venues — all concentrated on Lord Krishna, his leelas, his teachings and devotion his followers have for him. The energy level was palpable and the total abandon with which the dance was performed was what stood out in the performance of Vidya Ravindran Anand at the Bharat Kalachar recently.

A student of Chitra Visweswaran, Vidya displayed all the characteristics that her guru’s dance is famous for — the way the movements sweep across the stage, the outstretched hands in appeal to the higher forces, the fluid legwork and the costume. Her passion for the dance and the theme which she presented are what we can call an involved manner of dancing. ‘Pancha Krishnaranya Kshetram,’ based on Naalayira Divya Prabandham, had its text set to music by Murali Parthasarathy (also on the vocals). In Ragamalika and Talamalika, it was a set of sequences of the five Divya Kshetrams and sung by the Azhwars in praise of Lord Vishnu, Krishna to be more specific. And it was a refreshing change from the regular Margam that one saw a lot during the season.

The text was identified in consultation with Prof. M.A. Venkatakrishnan. Says Vidya, “I chose this to look beyond story telling as a vehicle to invoke bhakti.” The Kshetrams are Tirukoilur, Kapistalam, Tirukannamangai, Tirukannangudi and Tirukannapuram. A slokam from Krishna Karnamrutham set the mood for the bhakti to flow. Eka Sloki Bhagavatham, ‘Kannan Allal’ moved fluidly into the main piece on Pancha Krishna Kshetram.

Gajendra Moksham is a distinct episode in the lore of Krishna which has lent itself to dance in many magnificent ways. Here too the artiste really got into the mood to show how grace is given when asked for in complete surrender. Vidya has an expressive face, which came to her aid, especially in such portions. The nritta came as a secondary and useful extension to her dance as there was so much more emphasis on bhava.

Sparkling moments

The thillana — Madhurashtakam — a composition of R. Visweswaran brought back many memories of this wonderful musician.

The choreography by guru Chitra Visweswaran had some sparkling moments. Uma Namboodripad Sathyanarayana on the nattuvangam gave excellent support just as K. Venkatasubramanian on the mridangam, R. Thiagarajan on the flute and GRS Murthy on the veena did.

Priya Dandapani, who did the compering in Tamil, was a nice touch to the entire proceedings.

Krishna all the way

At Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha’s Vani Mahal, young and petite Dikshita Reddy, a student of Deepika Reddy presented a Kuchipudi recital with intensity. A slow and shaky start soon gave way to confident display of rhythm and movements. It was not just her who made a tentative start — the vocalist (K. Chandra Rao) also took time to warm up but once he did, the music was really pleasant and a good foil for the dance.

Beginning with Ganesha Pancharatnam, Mudakaratha Modakam describing the power and qualities of Lord Ganesha, Dikshita moved to ‘Veekshekada Devadevam,’ a composition of Narayana Tirtha in Ragamalika, Adi talam, presented with absolute reverence. It has a slokam in which Krishna is described by Radha — all aspects of him. There is emphasis on three episodes from Krishna leela — of Krishna eating mud and Yasoda seeing the world in his mouth, Kalinga Nartanam where Krishna vanquishes the dark serpent (this one done very well) and his play with the gopikas, a kind of a raas.

Dikshita presented these with a tenderness that was appealing and finished the piece with the traditional footwork on the rim of a brass plate — the hallmark of Kucipudi. Mastering this aspect reflects on the quality of the dancer — it was done without a hitch. Adding extra zest to the footwork was the percussion by K. Rajagopalacharya.

‘Nee Maatalemaayanu Ra,’ the Javali by Pattabhiramiah in Purvikalyani, celebrates the Khanditha nayika who is loving and angry. It’s a popular javali and Dikshita did justice to it. She concluded the recital with a tillana in Dhanasri by Swati Tirunal.

All items performed by Dikshita were choreographed by her guru who was on the nattuvangam. On the violin was K. Sai Kumar and on the flute VBS Murli.

Krishna all the way

At Kartik Fine Arts

All roads lead to Hari and therefore came Hari Sarvothama — a presentation in praise of Lord Vishnu by Sudha Lakshmi for this sabha. Musically and visually, devotion was brought out through the choice of items and composers. Beginning with an invocatory piece on goddess Lakshmi (from the Kanakadhara Stotram and Dwadasa Nama by Agasthiyar, Sudha Lakshmi gave a good account of herself in the varnam, Thirumalai Vasa, a composition of Madurai N. Krishnan. One watched a display of good technique and coaching where nritta as well as bhava combined to worship Krishna – the poet, the strategist, the teacher and the master of the world.

A theme dedicated to Krishna cannot be complete without Jayadeva’s Ashtapadhi. So here was ‘Yahi Madhava,’ which describes Radha’s pangs of separation from her beloved Krishna. Another short piece — a composition of Tyagaraja, ‘Marugelara’ — departed from the Krishna theme.

The tillana in Brindavanasaranga, again a composition of Madurai N Krishnan, was a fitting conclusion to a well-presented recital.

Priya Murle on the nattuvangam, Srutilaya on the vocals, Dhananjayan on the mridangam and Kandadevi S. Vijayaraghavan on the violin provided good orchestral support.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:09:42 AM |

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