Colourful mosaic of arts


The nagaswaram recital by K.G. Sreenivasan and K.G. Karthikeyan, proved an auspicious curtain raiser to Rajalakshmi Fine Arts’ 12th September Season. The 10-day festival, held at Sarojini Nataraj Auditorium, Coimbatore, featured the performances of some of the eminent artists.

S. Sowmya poured out swaras in a torrent — she seemed delighted to share the joy she experiences on finding newer dimensions in music. She began with ‘Era Na Pai’ and moved on to ‘Aananda Natana Prakasam’ in Kedaram. Tyagaraja kritis ruled her concert that day — ‘Everani Nirnayinchi’ (Devamruthavarshini), ‘Parasakti Manuparaadha’ (Saveri), ‘Brochevarevare’ (Sriranjani) and ‘Naradamuni Vedalina’ (Pantuvarali).

Niraval for the kriti in Sriranjani was delightful, as Sowmya used all the names used in the kriti - ‘Raghupathe’, ‘Naravaraa’ and ‘Sakalaloka Nayaka.’ The RTP in Varali and Khambodi — with the pallavi, ‘Varali Vani Paadhu Geervarni’/ Vidhi Mukhaambhoja Madhu Rasika’ was a work of art.

If Sowmya’s delineation was masterly, violinist R.K. Shriram Kumar’s was gliding between the two ragas with incredible smoothness. Poongulam Subramaniam on the mridangam and K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira joined heartily in the celebration.

Divyatha Arun, while adhering to her guru, late K.J. Sarasa’s training, has evolved as a dancer on her own merit. She made her entry with ‘Mallaari,’ and brought the temple procession — with its nagaswaram, melam, palanquin and umbrella — virtually alive on stage through her abhinayas.

K.M. Dhandayuthapani Pillai’s navaragamalika varnam, ‘Swaamiyai Azhaithodi Vaa’ has immense possibilities for abhinaya and sancharis and Divyatha made full use of them. She brought in a touch of humour while depicting the activities of the nayika, who is lost in thoughts of her lord.

‘Bhavayaami Gopaala Baalam’ was presented through the eyes of Yasodha, bringing in the joy and pride of motherhood.

Divyatha’s performance was enhanced by the vocals of Girija Ramaswamy, impressive nattuvangam by G. Dhanasundari and a supportive orchestra, comprising M. Dhananjayan on the mridangam and C.K. Patanjali on the flute.

Alarmel Valli’s prose was as fluid as her movements.

Valli began with ‘Prakriti’ – ‘Scent of the Earth,’ depicting the different moods of the earth with excerpts from renowned literary works — Abhijnana Shakuntalam, Ritusamharam (both by Kalidasa), Bharatiar’s ‘Mazhai,’ Silappadikaram and Atharva Vedham, set to music by Rajkumar Bharati. She brought out the inter-dependence of all creations in their mild and ferocious forms.

Her portrayal of the rain began with gentle, tiny droplets. As it gained force, she took the help of Bharatiar’s ‘Dhikkugalettum Sidhari,’ a powerful portrait of pounding rain. She depicted the dark rain as the flowing tresses and the seas as garments of the earth, through lines from the Silappadikaram.

The peaceful conclusion was with slokas from Atharva Veda, a prayer for harmony.

‘Kaana Aavalaanaen, Endhan Naadhanai, Nigarillaa Eesanai,’ a varnam jointly composed by Valli and Prema Ramamurthy, was woven with the dual thread of the sacred and the sensual — the nayika longing for her beloved and the devotee yearning for her Lord.

Vocalist Nandini Anand Sharma sang beautifully, and when her voice reached a pinnacle, Valli gave her an appreciative look, even while presenting the longing of the lovelorn maiden.

The innovative jati patterns were attractive to hear and to watch. While depicting the devotee, Valli’s body seemed to melt in yearning.

The piece from Kalithogai, ‘Kayamalar Un Kannaay,’ was a light-hearted and humorous picture of love. She concluded with abhinaya and swaralaya, showcasing new intricacies in expression and footwork.

Valli’s petite figure makes her nimble movements effortless. Jayashree Ramanathan’s nattuvangam was clear and striking. Ganesh Ramamurthy’s mridangam, K.P. Nandini’s violin and J.B. Sruthisagar’s flute danced along with Valli.

‘Daasa Bhakti’ by Shree Natya Niketan, Coimbatore, brought out the various aspects of devotion. The group presented a powerful poem on ‘mother’ before the main item, ‘Adiyavar Adi Thozha Thiruvarul Nam Vasam,’ composed by Mayavaram T. Viswanathan and set to music by Pozhakkudi G.R. Praveen.

Guru Mridula Rai as Abhirami Bhattar and Nandanar impressed with her moving depiction. Daughters Srinidhi Rai and Sriraksha Rai donned the roles of Kannappar, Andal, Appar and Avvaiyaar effectively.

Appropriate slokas and songs were included in between to enhance the effect. The well-planned and well-presented dance ballet filled the atmosphere with devotion.

Praveen carried the onus of creating the mood with his booming voice. Ramesh R. Nair’s nattuvangam, G.R. Naveen’s mridangam, Palakkad Sivaramakrishnan’s violin and Thanjay Vasantha Kumar’s flute gelled harmoniously.

Rukmini Vijayakumar’s Bharatanatyam had a generous influence of ballet. The slim and elegant dancer, wearing a tastefully-designed costume, seemed to fly around the stage.

Her first item was a cluster of swaras that gave a sample of her incredible energy.

After a picturesque portrayal of Krishna with the sloka, ‘Kasturi Thilakam’, she moved on to Sankarabharanam, depicting interesting episodes from the life of Siva, explaining how he came to get each of his ornaments.

With lyrics by R. Ganesh and Dr. Shankar, music composition by D. Srivatsa and jatis by G. Gurumurthy, this magnificent presentation held the audience in a thrall.

Dakshayagna, the war between the snakes and the eagles, the churning of the ocean and the role of Bhikshatana were some of the episodes presented. Rukmini’s face was a kaleidoscope of emotions. Her quick changes in posture were a delight to watch and one had to be up and alert lest one missed a beautiful movement.

Next, she presented the powerful, fierce and gentle forms of the goddess as Raja Rajeswari, Ardhanareeswara, Mahakali and Annapoorna.

The imaginary quarrel between Siva and Parvati, which she said, was inspired by her parents, was hilarious. She concluded with a thillana and a song in which Radha bids farewell to Krishna.

Powerful music and sensitive lighting added to Rukmini’s impressive performance.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:26:08 PM |

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