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Abhayalakshmi’s Odissi recital in Thrissur

Abhayalakshmi’s Odissi recital in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

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‘Dwaya’ festival in Thrissur had stand-out performances by Abhayalakshmi and Kavitha Aarudra Suresh

An Odissi recital and a Hindustani concert were held as part of ‘Dwaya’, a two-day music and dance festival in Thrissur.

Abhayalakshmi proved a resourceful dancer and choreographer in the 90-minute performance staged in the traditional format of Odissi. Stability of the chiselled poses, alluring nritta, geometrically perfect ‘chowka’ and impressive ‘tribhanga’ appeared to be her hallmark. The opening Mangalacharan, choreographed by Kelucharan Mohapatra in Khamaj and Ektaali, was delectable as she paid obeisance to Rama after the customary tribute to Jagannath. Captioned ‘Rama stuti’, it involved the essential traits of the king.

The dancer brought out the charm of pure dance in Odissi that is a tapestry of rhythm, music and movements. Fluidity of movements, especially of the torso, and the foot-movements in sync with the rhythm stood out.

Relevant themes

Themes of contemporary relevance, such as religious amity and empowerment of women, were highlighted through stories culled from the legends. ‘Ahe nila saila’, the song about Salabega, a staunch devotee of Lord Jagannath who was denied darshan because he was a Muslim, is a popular composition, myriad versions of which has been performed by Odissi dancers. He prays to the lord to save him, citing the stories of Gajendra Moksha, Draupadivastraharana and Prahlada. Depiction of these anecdotes gave Abhayalakshmi the opportunity to bring out her histrionic talent. Both the raga Arabhi and the taal of 14 beats heightened the tempo of the events.

The story of the warrior princess Meenakshi, the deity of Madurai temple, spoke for her skill in choreography as well as her quest for digging deep into the story of the goddess. The opening nritta that narrated the beauty of the goddess was picturesque. It was impressive that she could encapsulate the anecdotes into a 15-minute show.

Kavitha Aarudra Suresh’s Hindustani concert in Thrissur

Kavitha Aarudra Suresh’s Hindustani concert in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

Hindustani vocal by Kavitha Aarudra Suresh began with the evening raga, Madhuvanati. The alap, though short going by the Hindustani style, portrayed the essence of the raga. She progressed with vilambit ek taal and later ascended to ardh teen taal as the tabla joined to make the recital. The musician followed it with a tarana in the same raga. Rendered in drut ek taal, it was enjoyable.

‘Sajan ghar aaye’, a composition by her guru, Mukund Kshirsagar, was in Gorakh Kalyan. A raga for the night, it eschews Ga, Pa and Ni in the arohana and Komal Ni in the avarohana, the other notes being all suddha swaras. The swara pattern makes it different from the popular raga, Kalyan. Presented in teen, ek, madhya and drut, the number was melodious. ‘Kaale kale badal’ in Sivaranjini was a thumri in fast tempo.

The rest of the concert featured light classical numbers, including a Meera bhajan, a thumri by Surdas in Desh about the story of Gajendra Moksha and a Kajri pertaining to the rain.

Shaheen P Nazar accompanied on the tabla, while KS Susanth was on the harmonium. The festival was organised by the Thrissur centre of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 6:13:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/dwaya-dance-and-music-festival-in-thrissur/article29783616.ece

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