Dance

Interesting rhythm patterns

Rajeswari Sainath. File photo  

Rajeswari Sainath is a senior dancer-teacher from Secundarabad, who performs regularly during the December season. She is known for introducing rhythmic intricacies into her pure dance, using challenging mathematical calculations along with offbeat features to reach the samam.

This time, the adventures in rhythm were less complicated and more interesting, simply because they were set to the regular eight beat cycle (Adi). The crisp nritta statements (mridangam maestro Karaikkudi Mani) played with gaps, nadais and varying speeds within one avartana (cycle) to create poetry.

There was hence less time spent on counting and more on execution. One could see it in Rajeswari’s freshness, the clean lines and excellent footwork. She even had the time to begin with a faultless Natyarambam position with the arms stretched out in perfect symmetry. If only she would work on those superfluous mannerisms that creep in while dancing; they take away from the dignity of the presentation.

The special feature about her repertoire was an unusual varnam on Lord Brahma that was being premiered that evening. Conceptualised by Guru Karaikkudi Mani, ‘Naanmugathikken Aalayam Illai’ had been researched by Dr. Seshadri Ganapadigal, written by Kavi Kannan and set to music by senior flautist Balasai in Abhogi, Adi talam.

As a varnam, it was well-conceived and executed, with clear sancharis about Brahma. But if the purpose was to deify Brahma, one was confused as to why Lord Brahma’s mistakes were highlighted in the first half such as the lust he felt for His own creation, Shatarupa, Mohini’s curse and His lies to Siva in the Viswaroopa incident in the Siva Purana. The glory of Brahma’s creation was on the other hand given a passing reference post-charanam.

The combined artistry of the musical team consisting of G. Sreekanth (vocal), Kalaiarasan (violin) and B. Muthukumar (flute) with the flautist using a base bansuri, was at its best in the Krishna Ashtothram (ragamalika, composed by Balasai). The rhythmic support, by Srinivasan (nattuvangam) and Nagai Narayanan (mridangam) both students of Guru Mani, was precise without being overbearing.

While the visualisation of the Krishna Leelas was disappointing, the finale (Sindhu Bhairavi thillana, Adi, Rajkumar Bharati) celebrated the coming together of rhythmic movements and excellent music.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 6:05:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Interesting-rhythm-patterns/article15535350.ece

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