Dance

Disappointing visualisation

TAMIL SPECIAL: Aswathi and Srikant. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

The third endowment programme in memory of Dr.S. Ramanathan, eminent musician and scholar, instituted by Vanathy and Dr. Raghuraman under

the auspices of Narada Gana Sabha and their dance wing Natyarangam, was presented by Bharatanatyam dancers N. Srikanth and Aswathy Srikanth recently. The recital comprised compositions of pre-Trinity Tamil composers, Muthutandavar, Marimutha Pillai and Arunachala Kavi. As each of them had had connections with Sirkazhi, Dr.Raghuraman aptly named the recital ‘Sirkazhi Moovar.'

While the pieces were all uncommon, Muthutandavar's poetic words in praise of Nataraja in the Nalinakanti kriti, ‘Isane Koti Surya Prakashane' and Marimutha Pillai's loving disrespect in the Ninda Stuthi ‘Enna Thunivai' were singularly moving.

From Ramayana

Excerpts from Arunachala Kavi's ‘Rama Natakam' were taken for the opening Vinayaka prayer, the closing Kodandarama Viruttam and a Ramayana kirtana thatessayed the events in the Ramayana. Despite the excellent choice of pieces, the recital did not measure up to potential. It started briskly enough with a crisp Vinayaka Kappu and Vinayaka Charanam (Gambhira Nattai, Adi) but the energy of the subsequent choreographies faltered along the way.

It was the visualisation that was disappointing. For example, Nataraja's Ananda Tandava could have been introduced in the Nalinakanti piece instead of

treating it as a regular choreography with both dancers performing together, with a mei adavu entry, jatis and sahitya with thattu-mettu

sections. It is akin to a boring report vis-a-vis an interestingly worded article and one knows Srikanth's capacity for innovative and

interesting ideas.

Srikanth has a natural acting talent, but he tends to skim the surface in his portrayals; Aswathy is more earthy and simple in style, both in nritta and abhinaya, and the overall effect she projects is one of sincerity. As a team though, they compliment each other extremely well and this was most obvious in the 45-minute Ramayana presentation.

The orchestra was also a subdued lot that evening; the faulty sound system and G. Srikanth's recalcitrant voice together interfered with the free flow of melody though the standards were never

compromised; Priya Murle (nattuvangam) was also restrained but this was a welcome restraint. Dhananjayan (mridangam) did not contribute to

the energy level with his subdued drumming; it was a first for a mridanga vidwan to be seen with his notes!

M.S. Kannan (violin) gave consistent melody, unperturbed by the singer's octave switches.

The choreographies maybe re-looked at; the work maybe treated as work-in-progress.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 5:18:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Disappointing-visualisation/article15786788.ece

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