Grace and sensitivity

Coordination: Guru Rhadha’s disciples.

Coordination: Guru Rhadha’s disciples.   | Photo Credit: Photo: K.V. Srinivasan


The focus was Lord Siva, presiding deity of Sri Kapali temple, the venue.

The divine atmosphere of Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, provided the right ambience for a commendable performance by the students of veteran Rhadha, who wielded the cymbals, at the Vasant Utsav, cultural festival organised by Saraswathi Educational Cultural and Charitable Trust.

Pushpanjali was a perfect blend of nritta and bhava. It was on Lord Siva describing him as the supreme power. In the vrittam the dancers — Meera Srikant, Preeti Hariharan, Shraddha Balasubramanian and Tara Raman went on to describe how Siva the three-eyed one is the master of the three Vedas, his flowing locks and so on. Here the theermanams were executed well with great coordination.

Swaying to the melody

With absolute harmony, the group glided into the varnam. Papanasam Sivan’s imagination about the three-eyed Lord Shiva in Sankarabaranam made the dancers sway to the melody of the raga.

Shraddha entered the stage in the line Karunai Seithida Aagaatha, depicting the nayika’s love for the Lord as she writes a letter to him. Her caressing of the pigeon, which was supposed to carry the message, was very natural.

Preeti took the varnam further with the line ‘Kadal un meedhu meerudhae.’ Sringara could have been portrayed better.

Description of the Arupathumoovar festival and the glory of the Kapaleeswarar Temple were brought alive by Tara in her sancharis to the line ‘Thirumada Mayilai nagaril thigazhum Sri Kapaleesa.’ Her petite figure suited the role of Parvati, who assumes the form of a peacock. Tara did justice to bhibhatsa and bhayanaka. With innate grace Meera delivered singara rasa in the line ‘Nathan neyae enthil nejil nichaimayi nambineene.’ Sculpted poses and effective nritta brought the varnam, the highlight of the recital, to a grand finale making the audience sit up with expectations. The solo performances did not disappoint the viewers. Tara impressed with the rasa of veeram in the Bharatiar composition Shakthi Koothu in raga Sivasakti. The Ardhanari vrudham and Kali jathi were executed with neat adavus.

Shraddha in her solo to the song En Neeramum undhan sannidhiyae exemplified bhakthi bhava with quiet dignity. The impact would have been better if she had retained the inner stillness that lends grace.

‘Kapaliswaranae Pali thoham,’ a Sanskrit composition, in ragamalika, written by her father Sampath and set to music by her mother Rajalakshmi and choreographed by guru Rhadha was about mysticism. Preethi could have handled ‘Bho Sambho’ (Revathi) presented by Preethi lacked the excitement of movement and rhythm the composition offers. The thillana in Vasantha wan an unusual one. It was well-designed and choreographed with chiselled poses keeping the audience spell-bound.

Unfortunately the musical phase of the performance was not balanced well. While Kandadevi S. Vijayaraghavan bowing was superb there was too much of a burden on the single singer Roshini Ramesh. M. Dhananjeyan kept the tala even on the mridangam.

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