Dance

Nice touch of artistry

Medha Hari. Photo. M. Moorthy

Medha Hari. Photo. M. Moorthy  

If technique and emotive expression can be termed as two sides of the same coin in the art of Bharatanatyam, then Medha Hari, a disciple of Anita Guha, did justice to both aspects admirably. Her performance for the Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha had a vitality which was a result of intense training in the components of the art form wherein lithe movements, attractive stances and bright music generated memorable images.

Medha opened with Pushpanjali in Veena Vinodini and Dhruva talam, a composition of vocalist K. Hariprasad. Her diligent portrayal of ‘Sakhiye Inda Velayil,’ the swarajati in Anandabhairavi and Adi talam by the Tanjore Quartet, set it as the pivot for the evening.

The choreography by Anita Guha accentuated the nayika’s predicament with vivacity. Energetic jati passages alternated with the poetic verses dedicated to Lord Rajagopala of Mannargudi. While the pallavi established the main theme, the succeeding lines unravelled the agony of the lovelorn maiden, the architecture of the temple and her imaginative cajoling of the dear friend. Musically, the commencement of the lyrics a few beats away from the cyclic beginning, gave space for leisurely devolvement of the words of the pallavi.

Vocalist Hariprasad’s distinct repetition matched by the cadences on the flute (J. B. Sruti Sagar) and the violin (Kalaiarasan) of the phrase ‘Sakhiye,’ emphasised the nayika’s lovelorn state. Jayashree Ramanathan’s precise nattuvangam and Ramshankar Babu’s mridangam beats added to the rhythmic flow.

Medha’s nritta was clear cut and she executed adavus briskly. There was no deviation in her araimandi stance through the recital. The dancer devoted ample effort to bring variations in sringara bhava. But in the initial minutes in the pallavi, her communication remained blurred and she needed to hone her delivery to show different feelings for the two personalities. The affectionate vein in the speech to the friend needed to be distinct from the implied sringara-laden reference to the lover.

Moving on to the subsequent lines, Medha settled into her groove and represented the heroine’s plight charmingly, with the example of the heroine writing a letter to the beloved, standing out for the nice touch of artistry.

Dignified body language to denote a vexed Krishna formed the highlight of ‘Chittika Vesithe’ in Kalyani and Adi talam by poet Sarangapani. Annoyed at being spurned by a gopika, Krishna taunts her and revels in his own prowess in attracting damsels! Medha’s abhinaya not only caught the mood but also illustrated Krishna’s indignation persuasively.

In ‘Hariharanai Nidam’ in ragamalika and Adi talam by Ambujam Krishna, the dancer eulogised the glory of Vishnu and Siva. Medha pictured the various incidents such as Gajendra Moksham and Siva absorbing the Halahala poison, to show the oneness of the Creator through his various forms. Thillana in Dhanasri and Adi talam by Swati Tirunal, was a dynamic conclusion to the recital.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 10:17:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/nice-touch-of-artistry/article6962622.ece

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