Teachers come to the fore

The Kalakshetra faculty will showcase its choreographic skills on December 22.

December 18, 2014 09:44 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST

Members of the Kalakshetra faculty: (from left)Lokesh, Shaly Vijayan, Rakesh, Jyolsana Menon, Nirmala and Hari Padman.  Photo: R. Ragu

Members of the Kalakshetra faculty: (from left)Lokesh, Shaly Vijayan, Rakesh, Jyolsana Menon, Nirmala and Hari Padman. Photo: R. Ragu

“It is an unparalleled experience for rasikas to view a Kalakshetra production in the Kalakshetra ambience,” says Priyadarsini Govind, the director. “Our faculty members are highly creative and extremely talented artists. Hence, I felt that it was important to showcase their artistry,” she adds, drawing focus on Bharatanatyam Margam on December 22, in which each piece of the repertoire has been choreographed by the institution’s different faculty members.

The opening piece, Swati Tirunal’s ‘Gopalaka Pahimam’ has been chosen and choreographed by Haripadman, considering the auspiciousness and aptness of the raga Revagupti for invocation. The varnam is the Tanjore Quartet classic, ‘Swamiyai Azhaithu Vaadi’ in Khamas, choreographed by Rajesh K. P., which steers away from modern or abstract ideas.

‘Andhi Mayangum Neram’, the padam on the ‘vasakasajjika nayika’ (the one dressed up for union with the Lord), has been composed and choreographed by Nirmala Nagarajan. She draws inspiration from female characters in Tamil literature, which also happens to be the topic for her PhD.

‘Kasi Viswanada Ashtakam’ has been choreographed by Shaly Vijayan. She has tried to retain Rukmini Devi’s choreographic nuances. The music has been composed by Hariprasad.

Leading to the finale is the Purandaradasa kriti “Bhagyada Lakshmi Baaramma,” set to music by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi.

Lokesh Raj shares his experience of listening to this song at 6.30 a.m. everyday on radio, understanding its lyrical value and being compelled by Pt. Joshi’s singing, to choreograph it. The thillana in Gambira Nattai, Kanda Triputa thalam is choreographed by Jyolsana Menon and composed by Nirmala Nagarajan, on their beloved ‘Athai’, Rukmini Devi. Performed by male dancers, the choreography weaves in complex mandalas (movements) to enhance the visual appeal.

The festival will present ‘Andal Charithram’, ‘Buddha Avatharam,’ ‘Sabari Moksham’, ‘Choodamani Pradhanam’ and ‘Maha Pattabishekam’, all hallmarks of Kalakshetra productions that preserve the original vision of the founder.

“Having learnt all the nuances of the production and choreography directly from Rukmini Devi , we kept the production as it is,” says Prof. A. Janardhanan.

Kalakshetra Festival

Kalakshetra Foundation’s 62nd Annual Art Festival is on from December 20 to 31 at Rukmini Arangam, Kalakshetra Foundation, Tiruvanmiyur. On the opening day at 11.30 a.m., the second Rukmini Devi Memorial lecture will be presented by Prof. Romila Thapar on ‘Constructing Heritage.’ Prof R. Champakalakshmi, retired Professor of History, JNU, will preside. At 5.30 p.m., Padma Subrahmanyam will inaugurate the festival, which will be followed by Andal Charithram (Kalakshetra). The schedule is as follows:Dec 21, 6 p.m.: Bharatanatyam by Urmila Sathyanarayanan. Dec 22, 6 p.m.: Bharatanatyam (Kalakshetra).Dec 23, 10.30 a.m.: ‘Black, White and Grey: Shades of the Feminine Divine,’ a special mythology and musical presentation by Devdutt Pattanaik, author and mythologist, with Anil Srinivasan, classical pianist; 6 p.m.: Harikatha by Vishaka Hari. Dec 24, 6 p.m.: Carnatic music by Dr. Panthula Rama.Dec 25 at 6 p.m.: The premiere of Buddha Avatharam (Kalakshetra).

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