Dance

Tapestry of traditional friezes

Eye-catching: Divyasena and her group perform Pannum Bharathamum. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao  

The Margam (from Alarippu to Thillana) has often been compared to the magnificent structure of a temple. However, dancers in recent times are constantly faced with the comment -- ‘It’s boring to watch the same old repertoire.’ It is therefore a challenge for young dancers to tackle this.

Divyasena and students of her dance school, Divyanjali, rose to the challenge and held the attention of the audience with their traditional repertoire, at their performance titled ‘Pannum Bharathamum.’

The Tamil language being the focus, Divyasena adapted songs from Thevaram and Tiruppugazh. It was interesting to watch Arunagirinathar’s ‘Muthaitharu Pathi Thirunagai’ set to dance; this took the place of Alarippu while ‘Athalacheranarada’ was Mangalam.

In the opening Mallari, five dancers entered the stage with crisp, sparkling movements in a diagonal line. The brisk theermanams, wherein the girl in the centre joined one pair or the other leading to a formation of twos and threes, were choreographed well. Divyasena’s choreographic skills were evident throughout the recital and she had skilfully woven into the dance, arresting friezes at appropriate moments.

A special mention must be made about the peacock tableau in the kavuthuvam portrayed with clockwork precision by the dancers. A lot of effort had been put in by the young dancers. Commendable indeed.

The costume in complementary colours of red and green with tissue fan was eye-catching

In this show, nritta played a dominant role while abhinaya was relegated to the background.

In Margam, varnam, padam and javali focus on abhinaya, which not only brings respite from rhythm and movement but also evokes an emotional response in the rasika.

Divyasena showcased some abhinaya in the pallavi of the varnam in Chandrakauns. But as the audience was getting involved in the mood of the song of a lovelorn heroine, the group of girls joined; it was a major distraction.

A solo by the main dancer would have been more appropriate.

Srikanth’s bhava soaked vocals supported by Jai Kishore Mosilikanti on the nattuvangam, Haribabu on the mridangam, Ganesh on the violin and Natarajan on the flute complemented the dance richly.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:26:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/tapestry-of-traditional-friezes/article4222145.ece

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