When bhakti prevailed

Spiritually elevating moments were aplenty in Vidya's recital.

December 28, 2011 08:19 pm | Updated December 29, 2011 03:43 pm IST - Kartik Fine Arts

Vidhya Subramanian. Photo: R.Shivaji Rao

Vidhya Subramanian. Photo: R.Shivaji Rao

Vidya Subhramaniam combined sringara, bhakti and philosophy, impressing rasikas with her compelling technique of expression.

The dancer depicted an individual's appeal to a Higher Power whether in love or spirituality, with sophistication. A poignant prayer was followed by glazes of sringara in the Charukesi pada varnam which then deepened into the torment of the outcast devotee. Sringara as presented in the Surutti lyric brought out hues such as sarcasm that made room for pure dance as the multilingual thillana. Benedictions for humanity intensified the spiritual tone.Excerpts from Adi Sankarachaya's Ardhanareeswara slokam in Revathi raga and Kanda Chapu, extolling Siva and Parvati, set the pace for Vidya's recital with ample scope for portraying contrasts as well as the togetherness of the divinity.

“You granted the gopika's wish in Brindavan, but why deny me now?” This was but a sample of the persuasive touches by the nayika for the pada varnam ‘Innum En Manam,' a Lalgudi Jayaraman composition. ‘Kamalakanna Manivanna' was another phrase to eulogise the compassion of Krishna.

Even as Asha Ramesh's soaring voice and Dinesh Mahadevan's nattuvangam amplified the dancing, the jatis were pleasing to the eyes and placed the performer to good effect. Although Vidya's rhythmic essays for the evening had as many standing postures as araimandi stances, this seemed to be in tune with the general trend of many dancers which allow them leeway to cover the entire stage.

Vidya's evolving bhakti peaked for the next Gopalakrishna Bharati's ‘Vazhi Maraikkudu' in Thodi where the dancer's minimal movements but powerful expressions made a memorable imprint.

Perhaps as a result, ‘Indendu Vachhitivira' by Melattur Kasinathayya, the popular lyric where the nayika spurns Krishna, did not carry same the weight. Although the nature of the nayika was established with plenty of sarcasm, it lacked that zing. Thillana in Surya by Asha Ramesh was a stirring melody with lyric in Tamil and Hindi. The dancer's emphasis on universal brotherhood for the closing Maitreem Bhajatha' imparted pleasant vibrations.

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