Young talent moves centre stage

Sreelakshmi Govardhanan.Photo: K.K. Najeeb   | Photo Credit: K.K. Najeeb

A trio of youngsters showcased their skill during a cultural fete in Thrissur. Dancers Sreelakshmi Govardhanan and RLV Ramakrishnan and vocalist T.N.S. Krishnan performed in connection with ‘Bhavarasotsavam 2015’.

Sreelakshmi Govardhanan’s 90-minute Kuchipudi recital adhered to the traditional style of the dance form. All the numbers were anchored on Telugu compositions.

The opening ‘Ganesha Kauthwam’ with energising footwork and typical adavus were indicative of her style. Her synchronisation of movements was commendable.

‘Mandodari sabdam’, which followed, was totally new and entailed theatrical elements of Kuchipudi Yakshagana. Composed by renowned poet Jayantha Senani, known for his monumental work ‘Nritya Ratnavali’, it narrates the story of Mandodari. She was cursed by Parvathy to be a frog, but thanks to Siva’s boon she would transform into a beautiful woman after 12 years and get married to a man of great valour.

Sreelakshmi’s histrionic virtuosity was revealed as she delineated the animals and birds that inhabited the forest in which the pond, where Mandodari was cursed to live in, was situated. Perhaps it was Mandodari’s transformation from a frog to a damsel of bewitching beauty that was captivating. The piece was written for a Devadasi to sing in praise of Krishnadevaraya, the great emperor of Vijayanagara and a literary genius. It was exhilarating to watch this number choreographed in Mohanam and talamalika.

The precursor of Kuchipudi Yakshagana is Kalapam (drama) and the oldest is Bhama Kalapam of Siddhendra Yogi. Sreelakshmi presented an excerpt from this next. In the pravesa dharuvu of Sathyabhama, she boasts of her beauty, wealth and pre-eminence among the consorts of Krishna. But she is distressed as Krishna had left her following a tiff between them. An interesting exchange between Sathyabhama and her sakhi Madhavi follows in which Sathyabhama pleads with her to find her husband. Although Madhavi teases her, finally, she relents and agrees to locate Krishna.

Scintillating dance during the pravesa dharuvu (‘Bhamane, Sathyabhamane’) coupled with a depiction of Sathyabhama’s ego was a treat to the eye.

But more enchanting was the dialogue between Sathyabhama and Madhavi in chaste Telugu, with the Sakhi’s response delivered by Vijish who did Nattuvankam.

The Swati composition ‘Aye Giridhar’, an abhinaya piece, appeared a befitting contrast to the previous one. Presented in raga Puriyadhanasri, ‘Vasakasajja nayika’ was enacted well by Sreelakshmi. She wound up with ‘Vanamali Vasudeva’ from Nama Sankirtana Mangalam, a dance of exultation.

Scintillating was a two-hour vocal recital by T.N.S. Krishna who exhibited his flair for creativity right from the Todi varnam ‘Erana Pai’, with which he opened. The impressive presentation, rich in enchanting swara combinations, was received with applause. Dikshitar’s ‘Vathapi’ in Hamsadhwani followed. The vocalist adorned it with innumerable sangatis that enhanced almost each line, niravals with off-beat swaras and words and glides over sthayis. Swati’s ‘Mamava sada’ in Kanada had the Devi Mahatmyam stothram sloka prefixed to it. Krishna explored the swaras of Panthuvarali for ‘Siva Siva ena rada’. The prolonged niraval at ‘Aagamule’ was interesting.

Subbaraya Sastrikal’s elegant ‘Janani ninnuva’ in Reethigowla, Misra chap, received an emotive rendition. Suddha Saveri was the main raga and the composition was Tyagaraja’s ‘Darini thelusu kondri’. Idappally Ajith’s support on the violin was commendable.

Jayakrishnan (mridangam) and Vellattanjur Sreejith (ghatam) presented a tani that provided additional charm to the recital. He wound up with Purandaradasa’s ‘Thiruppati’ in Hamsanandi.

RLV Ramakrishnan’s Mohiniyattam recital once again proved that a male can break the much hyped gender barrier in this lasya-rich dance form with élan. Kavalam’s ‘Ananda ganapathi’ in Puraniru, Adi, was an eloquent testimony to this. ‘Ksheerasagara sayana’ (Devagandhari) was delineated with grace.

The highlight of his abhinaya was evident during the portrayal of Jatayu, which he presented as a sanchari in ‘Pibare rama rasam’, a composition of Sadasivabrahmendra in Ahirbhairav. However, one felt that more nritta could be introduced in the recital as a whole. He wound up with the Swati thillana in Dhanasri.

The festival marked the decennial celebrations of Sree Kerala Kalakshetram, Thrissur.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 12:29:38 PM |

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