The last two performances of Narada Gana Sabha’s Natyarangam saw Uma Nambudripad Sathyanarayanan and Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya come together to explore the theme of Sakhyam (friendship).
The dancers presented the journey of two little girls who take their first steps together, and grow up to become young women. Along the way, they discover the true meaning of friendship.
‘Is Karnan the ideal friend or Guhan?’ they wonder, as they grow up to discover their individuality.
The well-loved tale of Krishna and Kuchela too unfolded on stage.
Dancing with willowy grace, in keeping with the style of their guru Chitra Visveswaran, Uma and Lakshmi found their Sakhya-Vriksham (Tree of Friendship) blossoming, as they relived the legend of Siva, Sundaramoorthy Nayanar and Paraviar.
Sacrifice in friendship was illustrated by recalling the story of Koperum Chozhan and Pisiraandaiyaar.
The performance was enhanced by the music of Rajkumar Bharati, and rendered well by Nandini Anand. Orchestral support came from Sukanya Ravindhar (nattuvangam), Venkatasubramaniam (mridangam), R. Thiagarajan (flute) and Mudicondan Ramesh (veena). Lighting design was by Murugan.
Natyarangam's ‘Baandhava Bharatham’ concluded with Pavithra Srinivasan and Gopukiran portraying ‘Atma Bandhutvam’ and ‘Parama Bandhavyam.’
Pavithra showcased Atma Bandhutvam by opting for Adi Sankara’s ‘Bhaja Govindam’, with text by Swami Gurudasanand to explain the Self at the Adhyatma level. She went on to illustrate a story from the Kenopanishad where Goddess Uma assumes the form of a Yaksha to test the greatness of Agni and Vayu.
Marked by precision and expressive abhinaya, Pavithra concluded by drawing from the Bhagavad Gita, enumerating the 20 ethical values, with text by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
Vigour, energy and exuberance marked the performance of Gopukiran, who in the second half of the evening, danced to the theme of Parama Bandhavyam. Beginning with slokas from Isavasya Upanishad and the Gita, he moved on to the story of Prahlada in Smarana Bhakti.
Abirami Andaadi was explored next, followed by a poignant exposition of Tyagaraja’s ‘Nannu Vidachi.’
Pavithra and Gopukiran came together for a rousing finale, comprising Bharatiar’s ‘Om Sakthi,’ Sadasiva Brahmendra’s ‘Sarvam Brahma Mayam’ and Annamacharya's ‘Brahmam Okatae.’
The nattuvangam was in the capable hands of Shantha Dhananjayan. Hariprasad’s vocals, supported by Karthik on the mridangam, Rijesh on the violin, Thyagu on the flute and Balaji on the veena embellished the performances.
Extra vigour was provided by Venkatasubramaniam on the rhythm pad.