Dance

Kalyana Karthikeyam: Myriad moods of mythology

A scene from the dance ballet 'Kalyana Karthikeyam' presented by Dr.Vempati China Satyam's Kuchipudi Kalakshetra Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam  

VISAKHAPATNAM: With its intrinsic dramatic quotient, Kuchipudi perfectly fits the bill for ballet and when married with mythology for its themes, it abounds in its myriad shades of expressional elegance and charms of footwork. So it was with the ballet Kalayana Karthikeyam at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam.

With more than 20 artistes in top form in team spirit, the ballet unfolded the mythological tale of Karthikeya, the son of Lord Siva who killed demon king Tarakasura. The tale goes thus; Secure in the knowledge that after the tragic end of Sati, Lord Siva turned an ascetic and thinking that the Lord would never marry again, Tarakasura seeks a boon that he would be killed only by the son of Lord Siva. Armed with this boon he unleashes a reign of terror. But Lord Siva wins the hand of Parvathi and leads a conjugal life. When he leaves Parvati in an intimate moment in response to prayers of the fairies, his seed falls on ground and is carried by Agni through Ganga, to reach sara-vana -the field of reeds- where a child takes birth (Saravanabhava). That child and is nursed by six krithikas thus Saravana Bhava becomes Karthikeya, the commander-in chief of the army of the fairies and kills Taraksura. Relating the victory of Karthikeya to Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu sheds joyous tears that lead to birth of Devasena and Srivalli who become the consorts of Karthikeya.

Guru Hari Ramamurthy of Kuchipudi Kala Kshetram of maestro Vempati China satyam has set this tale in charming frames of Kuchipudi with finesse. His portrayal of Tarakasura was the highlight of the ballet particularly in his pravesa daruvu. The way he conflated the shades of buoyant expressions with grandiose lilt in imperial gait was noteworthy.

With good command over the intricacies of this kinetic idiom, he clearly articulated diverse aspects of the chosen persona in detail. Set to fast tempo, without missing the room for savouring quintessential mood of the character, his presentation drew resounding applause. The ballet opened with a team of dancers singing paeans to Lord Karthikeya and then the tale unfolded in a taut sequence.

Sai Krishna Sannidha as Karthikeya sparkled. This girl has a remarkable control over body, her foot work precise and cadence in gait charming. Performing in tandem with Guru always remains a daunting task even for seniors; however Sannidha in her involved interpretative dance did her role well without betraying even a shade of uneasiness. Also as Valli she came out well. Cosmic dance of Lord Siva and Parvathi in an ecstatic mood was another impressive scene in the ballet. Each scene was well-conceived in detailed visual language and presented in captivating manner. Dandibhatla Vaikunta Naryanamurthi scripted it. Felicity in expression invested it with rare lyrical grace and Dandibhatla Venka Srinivasa Sastry’s melodic music score further accentuated its appeal. Perala Bala Murali Krishna ably emceed the event.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:22:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Kalyana-Karthikeyam-Myriad-moods-of-mythology/article14012050.ece

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