Dance

Journey up the seven hills

Srinivasam Prapadhye  

Through the use of the colour pink, the significance of the lotus synonymous with mythology and philosophy unfolded and so did the story of Tirumala and Sri Venkateswara.

Darshanam Art Creations’ Srinivasam Prapadhye, held at the Music Academy recently, was presented with intense bhakti, simplicity and an elegance that came out of a basic desire to invoke devotion in those who were associated with it and also those who were witness to it.

The beautiful story drew the audience into its core and kept them firm in their seats till the end when Srinivasa marries Padmavati.

The appeal of this celestial scene transcended the simple sets.

While the story is a much known and many are aware of how the temple came into existence, the production still required a lot of research to able to showcase the ethos and philosophy.

Conceived and directed by Asha Krishnakumar and Dushyanth Sridhar, ‘Srinivasam Prapadye’ was put together with valuable inputs by Dr. Chithra Madhavan and had music by Rajkumar Bharathi. Every stone, structure, carving, inscription and image one sees in Tirumala has a story behind it, taking one back several centuries. Jayanthi Subramanian’s impressive choreography conveyed many of these elements effectively.

The dance production that combined history, puranas and folklore was divided into five major scenes. And the seamless sequences wove them together. The entry and exit scenes need special mention as they were executed without prolonged and monotonous breaks. ‘Bhavayami’ and ‘Dolayam’ heightened the feeling of bhakti towards the end.

The wedding scene incorporated as a thillana lingered in the heart. Aided by the predominant colours of pink, green and blue/ purple in the costumes, the symbolism of the ethereal lotus remained a constant through the performance.

The dwarapalakas of the temple in gold, the vivid, colourful images of the deity on the screen and also that of the hills, saints and the temple surroundings, all went on to provide a complete experience.

Sai Shravanan on soundscape and audio design, magnificent vocals by Savita Narasimhan and Deepu Nair, an ensemble of musicians (R. Karthikeyan on mridangam, Ganapathi Venkatasubramaniam on tabla, Embar Kannan on violin, Vishnu Vijay on flute, Kishore Kumar on sitar, T. Bhavaniprasad on veena, D. Balasubramani on nadaswaram) Chella Videos, stage by Shanmugam and sound and light by Murugan made ‘Srinivasam Prapadhye a fine production.


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Printable version | Oct 11, 2021 2:59:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Journey-up-the-seven-hills/article14550908.ece

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