Dance

Repertoire on Satyabhama

Usha Gayathri and Guru Pasuamarthy Seshubabu in the performance  

Satyabhama, most aggressive consort among the eight wives of Lord Krishna, occupies prime place in mythological themes. Many poets penned mythical themes with Satyabhama playing crucial part.

Siddhendra Yogi, considered as the first guru of Kuchipudi dance wrote ‘Bhamakalapam’ inspired by ‘Parijatapaharanam’of Nandi Timmanna. ‘Bhamakalapam’ in short is an outburst of Bhama’s self aggrandisement that Siddhendra expressed it right in the Pravesa Daruvu Bhamane Satyabhamane.

In etching the character of Satyabhama, noted Kuchipudi exponent Usha Gayatri researched and brought out a book titled Kuchipudi Art and Satyabhama.

In connection with its release at Telugu University’s auditorium last week Usha Gayatri gave a unique presentation of ‘Bhamakalapam’. She replaced some known Daruvus with text from different poets who too expressed their own opinion about Satyabhama thematically, like excerpts taken from Kavyas written by several epic poets like Nandi Timmana, Narayana Teertha, Matrubhutakavi, Vengamamba, Akkanamatyudu, Linganamakhi and Shahaji, besides Siddendra Yogi. For viewers who were used to Siddhendra yogi’s ‘Bhamakalapam’, this one with multiple poets’ contribution to the basic theme of characterisation of Satyabhama, proved to be apt and strange as well.

Those few popular daruvus presented were ‘Mukkera’ (nose ornament) sequence showing her ‘sakhi’ Madhavi seeking her nose ornament considered most pious and precious to women for her to carry her message to Krishna; ‘Churnika’ sequence, letter writing to Krishna, appealing to him to get back to her. And the other one was ‘Sakunalu’ daruvu waiting for auspicious time to carry the letter. ‘Churnika’ is a poetic meter for writing a letter that appeals to Srikrishna. Among the rest, Yemi Sethune Chelulaara presented in two speeds was graceful. This was choreographed and presented by Maddali Usha Gayatri.

Nattuvangam was by Pasumarthi Seshubabu to the vocal support of Vempati Srivalli Sarma. Sridharacharya on mridangam, Kolanka Anil Kumar on violin and Venkatesh on flute lent good support.

The interaction between Usha as Bhama, Guru Pasuamarthy Seshubabu as Bhama’s maid Madhavi, made sensible combination. Makeup artiste Surabhi Kesavaram made Usha look a graceful Satyabhama.

The chief guests who graced the occasion were K.V.Ramana IAS (Retd) who presided the event, and scholars like Oleti Prvateesam, Prof.Elluri Siva Reddy, A.P. Deputy speaker Mandali Busuddha Prasad and former DGP R. Prabhakar Rao and veteran actor Jamuna, who played the role of Satyabhama in films with aplomb.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 10:24:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/repertoire-on-satyabhama/article8619621.ece

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