Radiant in a post-box red costume with matching red painted lips, Anwesha Das, a disciple of Urmila Satyanarayanan, Swamimalai S.K. Suresh and Natya Sankalpa, was an endearing picture of perfection, during her performance at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha . She must surely be a torchbearer for the Vazhuvoor style Bharatanatyam school. Her grounding is sound and her application is extraordinary, as a result her all-round skill set simply sparkles.
Considering the dancer’s vivacious style, the tone of the choreography was also appropriately playful. Her exits were particularly eventful, and barring the opening Vasantha Pushpanjali (Adi, Suresh) and Khanda Alarippu piece, there was a story to every exit - the Varnam (‘Manavi Chei Kona Rada,’ Sankarabharanam, Adi, Ponniah Pillai) had a petulant heroine questioning Brihadeeswara’s indifference as she made a speedy exit.
In the Begada padam, ‘Yaarukkagilum Bhayamaa’ the heroine walks off in a huff after scorning the gossip-mongers around her. The dancer as the naughty child Krishna runs away from Yashoda after confessing to the crime of stealing butter in the last moments of the Surdas bhajan, ‘Maiyya Mori’ (Desh) and in the tillana (Brindavanasaranga, Adi, Balamuralikrishna), Anwesha exited gracefully with the alapadma hasta.
Little vignettes added much colour as in the nayika lying down and dreamingly writing a letter to Nataraja in the bhakti-sringara varnam and then looking for a messenger in the moon, in a deer and in Nataraja’s damaru. In the anupallavi, ‘Vinaraa Sri Tanja-purini’ the Brihadeeswara temple is described with its imposing Nandi and Siva Lingam. Similarly within a tillana korvai, Krishna was seen playing with the ball followed by the fight with Kaliya. Swamimalai Suresh’s music was filled with bhava, with soft and slow melody that enabled the sancharis flow smoothly. He had an equally melodious accompanist in Eshwar Ramakrishnan (violin). Ramesh Babu (mridangam) started off playing counterpoints, but settled into supporting the rhythmic sequences along with the attentive Saikripa Prasanna (nattuvangam). The programme was like a brightly gift-wrapped package.