Dance

Defined by grace

Here’s to the future generation of dancers – bright, passionate and raring to go… Jyotsna Jagannathan, former disciple of A. Lakshmanaswamy, currently under the mentorship of Malavika Sarukkai and Bragha Bessell, is one such aspirant.

It was a pleasure to watch a confident dancer, who is light on her feet and mindful of her adavus. Her technique is so neat, that the brisk pace in the opening gambhira nattai mallari (misra triputa tala) and the superfast speed in the first jathi of the varnam (‘Swamiyai azhaithu vadi’, Khamas, adi, Tanjore Quartet) were accomplished with ease and no sign of fatigue. Her movements are well-finished and graceful as well.

The beauty of the presentation was enhanced by the pretty arudis of the mukhtayi and charana swaras. The change to a slower pace in the mukthayi swara provided a good contrast to the aggression of the earlier jathis.

Jyotsna’s presentations were planned and rehearsed well. The varnam lyrics were to the point; the opening line had friezes of Siva alternating with snapshots of the nayika’s suffering, in unusual frames; the detailing of Siva’s sandhya tandava with the other gods making up his orchestra was followed by a description of Sundareshwara. The picturisations were unhurried and showed application but they were attractive only at a superficial level. Jyotsna needs to go beyond the expressive stage to be convincing. The Devarnama, ‘Chikkavane’ (ragamalika, Adi, Purandaradasa) was enacted well but lacked warmth.

It is to Jyotsna’s credit that she maintained her smiling grace right till the thillana (Mohanakalyani, adi, Lalgudi Jayaraman).

Senior musician Hariprasad was an asset to the recital and was supported well by Kalaiarasan (violin). Senior mridangist Vijayaraghavan was unusually lively, especially in the thillana. The sound from the smaller drum was also finer. He composed the sollus for the jathis that were ably rendered by S. Srilatha (nattuvangam).

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 6:38:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Defined-by-grace/article14024706.ece

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