Striking it with poise

L. Murugashankari’s neat dance presentation had to bear the brunt of a restless audience

Published - May 07, 2015 07:31 pm IST

Rangoli Theare on M.G. Road, Bengaluru, could not have been more tumultuous than it was on World Dance Day. Sai Arts International had organised a series of performances, both of children and adults, on the occasion and as the day wore on, the audience which mostly comprised crying and distracted children, made the small auditorium noisy and irritable. It was amidst this disarray that L. Murugashankari came on stage to perform two succinct, yet profound pieces. She began her recital with the Ardhanareeshwara Stotram and then performed to verses from ‘Akhilam Madhuram’.

Murugashankari had a striking stage presence which was only accentuated by the poignant stances she adopted as both Shiva and Parvati during her first piece. The composition, choreographed by Rama Vaidyanathan, was an abhinaya-heavy piece and Murugashankari transitioned between the stereotypes of man and woman with ease. However, there were some portions that were aggressively dramatic and appeared jarring.

Akhilam Madhuram, on the other hand, was mellow with plenty of imaginative nritta segments. The choreography aimed to enhance the portrayal of the joyousness of Krishna and Murugashankari did justice to it too. But, the jumps towards the end of the composition did not fit with the rest of the piece. What was really unsettling, however, was the lack of patience exhibited by the audience. Noise levels soared, parents shouted about misplaced jewellery and children ran helter-skelter, forcing an interested handful to crane their necks and catch a glimpse of the performer on stage — a dance of a different kind indeed.

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