Dance

Of Siva, bhakti and more

Bhavya Balasubramanian. Photo. M. Moorthy

Bhavya Balasubramanian. Photo. M. Moorthy  

Bhavya Bala subramanian’s whole-hearted effort, programme selection and a lively orchestra ensured that her Bharatanatyam presentation created a vibrant aura of the Saivaite theme for the afternoon slot of Narada Gana Sabha’s Isai Natya Nataka Vizha 2014. She is a talented Bharatanatyam artist who has trained under leading teachers such as Vazhuvoor Samraj Pillai, Srekala Bharath and is currently pursuing advanced studies in the 108 karanas under Padma Subrahmanyam. A chartered accountant who has also completed her Masters in Fine Arts from Sastra University, her performance was full of gusto that seemed to be as much due to ample stamina as due to her love for the art form that manifested through her approach.

‘Karunai Seithida’ in Sankarabharanam, the Tamil cousin of the Thanjavur quartet Manavi, formed the main piece for the evening and the dancer proved her mettle through the sustained delineation of tala and bhava. Rhythmic passages with vintage sollu resounded pleasantly and quick paced adavus judiciously choreographed to present a three way profile to the audience were dealt with neatly.

Bhavya’s correctly aligned feet and a decent araimandi gave impetus to the pure dance section. The emphasis on the devotional element was conveyed through many stories of which the tale of Parvati assuming the form of a peacock to gain redemption came through vividly. The swaras included graceful karanas that flowed with the music. The performer’s attire and bright stage presence were other positive aspects.

‘Durge Durge’ in Revathi showed the glory of the goddess Durga as also the pose of vanquishing the asura with her trident with great vigour all the while extolling her radiant nature. The episode of Abhirami Bhattar and the full moon miracle was shown succinctly.

Bhavya opened with Pushpanjali followed by ‘Aadhiyum Naduvum’ in Gowla. For the next Thevaram by Appar, ‘Thalaye Nee Vanangai’ in Pantuvarali, Bhavya depicted the devotee who surrenders completely – body and soul to Lord Siva with sincerity.

Bhavya’s zesty body language worked well for the nritta portions, but when it came to the abhinaya it was a different story. While she was naturally expressive and conveyed the pertinent strand of thought distinctly, her emoting needed a degree of finesse. There were places where the stylised way of delivery gave way to a casual lingo that was almost raw in its tone. With practice and onstage experience she should be able to strike the right balance of verve and restraint.

Chitrambari Krishnakumar’s singing, K.R. Venkata subhramaniam’s nattuvangam, P. Atul Kumar’s flute, V. Muruganandam’s violin Nellai Kannan’s mridangam were real pluses to the dancing. A lilting thillana in Surya, composed by Rukmini Ramani tied up the dedication to Lord Siva.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 5:11:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/of-siva-bhakti-and-more/article6912579.ece

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