Expressions of joy

Nandita Neroor. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao  

Nandita Neroor’s dancing has the charm of a gazelle and the boundless energy of a teenager. Tthe only exception that this particular dancer brings steel into her art and that too in a very real sense. After being diagnosed with Kypho Scoliosis as a young child, Nandita underwent a major operation where a titanium rod was inserted into her spine. She faced several more hardships before she could resume normal life.

The event, held at Vani Mahal, was attended by friends and well-wishers who were there to encourage this brave teenager on her artistic journey. It was the 50th stage performance for this student of Krishnakumari Narendran.

Numerous fast movements peppered the recital and one could only admire the alacrity with which Nandita responded to the splendid nattuvangam of Krishnakumari Narendran. There seemed to be a deliberate emphasis on the fitness of the dancer; there were enough bends, jumps and seated movements to silence even the most cynical among the audience. There was little to complain about this young dancer apart from cluttered lines while executing a few adavus as in those demanding the natyaarambham posture (where the arms are held parallel to the ground).

Speed marked the introductory ‘Gajaananayutham,’ a Dikshitar kriti in Chakravaham, where the elephant God’s benevolence was depicted. The flash of movements and the rich maroon costume presented a picture of verve that was continued in the next piece as well. An extract from a Valachi varnam, ‘Annanme’ (penned by Subbudu), the focus was on pure dance. A lengthy jati rendered with Krishnakumari’s specialised inflections and Nellai Kannan’s jaunty mridangam play boosted the dancing.

Nandita’s wide eyed delineation of the heroine’s circumstances carried through because of her underlying sincerity supported by vocalist Radha Badri’s melodies.

The dancer’s skills in emoting were better showcased in ‘Chinunchiru Kiliye’ in ragamaalika and ‘Govindaghataya’ in Khambodi. While the mother’s love and the child’s tantrums were accurately represented for the Bharatiyar lyric, the sanchari signifying Krishna granting salvation to Trivikarai, the hunchback, for the Narayana Theertha tarangam moved the audience.

A joyful Kuravai Koothu from Silappadikaram for the verses ‘Vadavarayai’ also marked Nandita’s eager steps in Bharatanatyam.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 4:29:51 AM |

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