Dance

Ruled by aesthetics

Nithyakalyani Vaidyanathan Photo: V. V. Krishnan  

A swaranjali set to tune by Bhagavathulu Seetharama Sharma in Raga Hamsadhvani set the mood for Nityakalyani Vaidhyanathan’s performance for Kartik Fine Arts. The costume, a combination of sunny yellow and pink, added to the visual appeal.

‘Manavichekonara’ the classic Sankarabharanam composition of the Thanjavur Quartet, addressed to Lord Brihadiswara, showcased the calibre of the dancer in handling both nritta and abhinaya elements with ease. Commendable indeed, considering that she is returning to the stage after a decade. The jatikorvais of the varnam highlighted the traditional pattern of choreography, where the movements consisted of beautiful geometric patterns instead of repeated running around the stage that seems to be the norm in present day theermanams. The varied stances during the charana swaras were aesthetic.

The dancer’s maturity was seen in the manner in which her bhava unfolded in all the songs. Besides the commonly seen sancharis of using various elements of nature such as a bee, bird and the cloud as messenger, it was in her portrayal of Siva that the dancer excelled. The clouds slowly transformed into His hair, the jumping deer became the mriga in His hand and the thunderous sounds of the Universe merged in the udukkai.

Again in the delineation of the Khanditha nayika in the Saveri raga padam ‘Idai vida innum vendumo sakshi,’ the gestures of the woman adorning herself in front of the mirror, was not just a depiction but one where the dancer relished each movement with an innate sensitivity. With a single eloquent movement of her eyes, she communicated the emotion of the angry nayika, who is dismissing her hero.

The Patnam Subramaniya Aiyar Behag Javali, ‘Samayamide Rara,’ speaking of a promiscuous woman inviting her paramour after her husband’s departure, the dancer’s shift from the expressions of drudgery and boredom doing her daily chores (till the husband departs) to those of excitement in the presence of her lover was handled with panache. A heartening comeback for this talented dancer.

Radha Badri provided melodious vocal support accompanied by Jayanthi Subramaniam wielding the cymbals, Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan on the violin and Guru Bharadwaj on the mridangam.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 11:21:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/nityakalyani-vaidhyanathan-shows-maturity-in-her-performance/article8223252.ece

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