FRIDAY REVIEW

Speaking steps

DANCE Sai Nrityotsav showcased four promising young artistes as part of the monthly series

T he fifteenth edition of Sai Nrityotsav, a monthly series of dance recitals organised by Sai Arts International, Bangalore, was conducted recently. Four Bharathanatyam performances, and a new choreographic work drawing inspiration from Mohiniattam, were staged on the occasion.

Bharathanatyam by Sangeetha Ananthanarayan, disciple of Geetha Ananthanarayan and the first artiste of the evening, began with a brief invocation to Lord Ganesha, quickly progressing to the varna “Ninne Neranamminanura” set to Athana raga and aditala. Neat and emphatic footwork were evident in the main body of the item and emotive ability surfaced in episodes such as Arjuna's dismay and consternation on the battlefield, as well as in the compact but expressive Tulsidas bhajan “Thumak Chalat Ramachandra”, which followed, accentuated by an excellent live orchestra.

The next segment comprised a short dance drama, “Parijatha”, a joint venture of Articulate and Sai Arts International, imaginatively choreographed by Pavan Kumar G. mainly in the Mohiniattam idiom, with one character in a costume based on the ‘pacha' of Kathakali. The main role was essayed gracefully by Anjana, ably supported by Nishanth Aravindakshan, Shamika and Shwetha. The concluding part depicting the parijatha plant blooming at night and wilting in sunlight, heightened by subtle lighting, was particularly effective. While certain aspects of presentation could be improved, the item was engaging, and the effort, by those involved, to understand and embrace other disciplines, and the initiative launched by the organisers to encourage fresh choreographic talent, are commendable.

Promising young dancer Bhuvana G. Prasad, disciple of Sita G. Prasad, began her Bharathanatya performance with a todaya mangalam set to ragamalika and talamalika, a vibrant item with quick changing rhythmic sequences executed with light-footed grace. The portrayal of “Nindranda Mayil”, an enchanting piece narrating the impact of Krishna's flute was characterised by perfect synchronisation with the music, as was the concluding tillana in Mohanakalyani, indicative of inherent talent that could scale greater heights with more experience and exposure.

Poise, expertise and agility were evident in the solo by Uvika Aravind, disciple of Sunanda Nair. She began with “Arputha Narthana' in Gambhira Natta raga and eka tala, paying obeisance to the remover of obstacles, Lord Ganesha. “Shakti”, set to Goula raga and adi tala, was a depiction of the diverse awe-inspiring facets of the Mother Goddess, interspersed with interesting and demanding jathi patterns, and Lord Siva's cosmic dance was represented in an impressive delineation of “Bho Shambho” in Revathi raga and adi tala, though greater variety in choreography would have enhanced the overall impact of the performance.

A brief pushpanjali and “Ganesha Vandana” marked the beginning of the concluding recital by Sreelakshmi, Minu Mohan and Sharmila Gupta, disciples of Padmini Ramachandran. “Jaganmohana Krishna”, punctuated with complex pure dance passages, also included anecdotes such as Krishna revealing all of creation in his mouth to Yashoda, Mohini's destruction of Bhasmasura, and the lifting of Govardhana charmingly enacted by the trio. The evening came to a close with the celebrated Pancharatna tillana, competently performed by Sreelakshmi and Minu Mohan.

Madhavi Ramkumar



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