Pleasures of precision

Leela Samson and Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar Photo: M. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

The grandeur of Bharatnatyam in the Kalakshetra bani came alive in all its resplendent glory in the performance of Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar and Leela Samson.

The two dancers began by visualising the beauty of Krishna’s form, starting with the tilakam on his forehead and then continued to describe his adornments and attire with a nuanced portrayal to a rendition of the sloka ‘Kasturi Thilakam Lalata Palake.’ The Kalyani raga, rupaka tala alarippu showcased the masculine and feminine variations of the same movement, one after the other, in a continuous flow of crisp theermanams, marked by anga suddham and an unmistakable araimandi.

The co-ordinated aahaarya of C.V. Chandrasekhar (in a mustard dhoti and pink sash) and Leela Samson (in a wine-coloured, kacham-style costume with a gold dhavani) reflected the refined aesthetic sensibility of their mentor Rukmini Devi.

Mysore Sadashiv Rao’s adi tala, Thodi varnam, ‘Ye Maguva Bodhinchera,’ addressed to the nayaka Maharaja Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar describes the nayika, tormented by his indifference towards her, addressing her lord and asking who has poisoned his mind against her. The sancharis to the lines ‘Entuku Inda Modi’, depicting the nayika adorning herself in anticipation of the king, was subtle and poetic.

Notwithstanding certain uncoordinated movements, the clarity and clockwork precision in rendering the theermanams in a leisurely pace was truly captivating.

K. Gayathri showcased the emotive grandeur of raga Varali through her soulful singing even as Leela sensitively handled the nuances for each sanchari in the Kshetrayya padam ‘Valapu Thatsalelane.’ It was a true example of a portrayal arising out of the exemplary power of experiential emotive expression. The clear depiction of the doorway frame as the nayika moves in and out, the preparation of the bed chamber, and even the subtle depiction of the intimate moments between the lovelorn couple was an aesthetic visualisation of sringara bhava.

The 80-year-old but youthful Chandrasekhar proved his dancing prowess, striking postures reminiscent of bronze statues while depicting the beauty of Siva’s physical form in the Yadukulakhambodi composition ‘Kalai Thooki Nindru Aadum Deivame.’ Contrary to the normal rendering of the song with a lot of nritta, he brought in his experience to elevate it to a metaphysical level. Kneeling down in front of the image of the lord, the dancer expressed with only his eyes, and vividly conveyed the essence of the song’s emotion.

As a tribute to M.S. Subbulakshmi, the artists took up ‘Hari Tum Haro,’ following which the not-so-frequently-seen Paras thillana was performed as a finale to an enriching recital.

It is heartening to see young Carnatic vocalists coming forward to sing for dance performances. K. Gayathri’s singing enhanced the impact of the show. Aadith Narayan on the nattuvangam, Sikamani on the violin, Muthukumar on the flute and Kartikeyan Ramanathan on the mridangam complemented the vocalist ably.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 9:54:51 PM |

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