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Stamp of erudition

Smitha Rajan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The twelfth Kalyana Krishna Nrithya Sangeetha Utsav, a three-day art festival, showcased some of the best in Indian classical dance, music and theatre.

In Poothanamoksham Kathakali on the first day, RLV Radhakrishnan essayed the role of Lalitha who is caught between her duty to her master, and her maternal feelings for the infant Krishna.

Smitha Rajan in her ‘Tribute to Masters’ series featured the compositions of Swathi Thirunal in a Mohiniyattam recital. The Hamsanandi kriti Sankara Srigiri Nadaprabho explored many possibilities of nritta as it represented the cosmic dance of lord Shiva.

Dance of the bhootas, portrayed in Bhootan ke sang nachat bhringi went well with a few melodic jathis. In the kriti Paripalayamam in Reetigowla raga, Smitha took on sancharis to effectively depict Varaha avathara and Krishna as a saviour to Panchali as Dusshasana tries to disrobe her in the Kuru court. In Krishnachandra Radha, the dancer sketched the image of lord Vishnu lying on the many-hooded Anantha and also Krishna subduing the serpent Kaliya. The rhythmic variations and sprightliness in all three pieces were impressive and a pleasant change from the traditional format.

On the second day of the fete, Sandhya Rajan, Dhanya Ajith and Sowparna Binu Nair, in Mohiniyattam style, presented the story of Parvati as an embodiment of power in ‘Shaktiswaroopini’.

Notes of creativity

Hindustani flautist Himanshu Nanda impressed the audience with a vilambit composition in Marubihag and Matta taal. His detailed alaap in the Dhrupad vein, distinctive to the Maihar gharana to which he belongs to, was tagged on with a jod marked by many variations.

Himanshu Nanda

Himanshu Nanda   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Soft flourishes and meends enhanced the mood of the raag. His progression on the vilambit was steady and comprehensive. Ratnashree Iyer supported the flautist wholesomely on the tabla and so did Himanshu’s disciple Prashanth on the flute. Instead of settling for a drut khayal in the same raag, Himanshu launched into a brisk piece in raag Sneharanjani. A Jaijaivanti piece in madhyalay teental charmed with its melody in the ‘Desh’ ang, a pleasant variation to the main raag, typically dealt with by certain schools in Hindustani music.

Parshwanath Upadhye thrilled the audiences with his vibrancy and strong abhinaya on the final day of the festival. The pizazz was striking from the word go as he presented Vinayaka Kowthwam envisaged by Venkatalakshmamma, one of the last royal court dancers and doyenne of the Mysore style of Bharatanatyam. The piece- de-resistance was a modern day varnam Jalajaksha nine nammina in Bihag and Adi tala. Parshwanath’s jumps and leaps were exciting, and the adavus were marked by grace and clarity.

The teermanams were bang on and the finish was remarkable. The episode of Kanakadasa, who is humiliated in the Udupi temple, and the lord narrating the Gita to Arjuna were powerful. The vocal and percussion accompaniment left much to be desired.

The festival was organised in memory of Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma by Kalyana Krishna Foundation at Changampuzha Park, Edappally.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 11:51:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/a-celebration-of-dance-music-and-theatre-kalyana-krishna-nrithya-sangeetha-utsav/article22455089.ece

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