Confidence personified

Young talent Ujvala displays her dancing skills. Photo: Ravi Kiran  

T welve-year old P. Ujvala is a prodigy in dance, having begun learning Kuchipudi right as a four-year-old from noted exponent Usha Gayatri. She gained early experience participating in ballets that her guru was presenting.

After a formal Ranga Pravesam four years back, she looked a mature artiste in a solo performance at Ravindra Bharati under the aegis of Nritya Kinnera last week.

Charm and dynamism are her natural gifts. Ujvala opened her show dancing to Vatapi in Hamsadhwani of Dikshitar, that gave the first taste of her self-confidence. The swaras were presented ‘avurtham'-wise, each avurtham of swara followed by jatis in the same cycle and finally both presented together.

Kakuturi Padmavati who died in her 90s and considered a vaggeyakarini in her own right left behind plenty of kirtanas, swarajatis and tillanas. One of her kirtanas Allade Srihari Abhaya Hastamu in ragamalika was chosen by Usha Gayatri to interpret it in Kuchipudi idiom lending meaningful choreography.

Ujvala's abhinaya skills were on display in evolving the theme of each line in her body language and facial expressions. This was set in ragamalika.

Prahlada Pattabhisheka Sabdam of Melattur Venkata Rama Sastry was mono-drama requiring the artiste to quickly shift into multiple roles to give a comprehensive picture of the story of Prahlada. The choreography was in great detail and Ujvala succeeded even in showing the weapons that Hiranyakasipa sought in a boon not be killed. Ill treatment of Prahlada by his father too came in for delineation in Ujvala's abhinaya.

Chakkani Talliki Changubhala of Annamacharya was Ujvala's next number; written in praise of the beauty of Alivelu Manga, was presented well.

As this was set and written in folk form, Usha planned the choreography to match it, which Ujvala succeeded in reflecting in her dance and rhythm.

This was tuned in Mayamalavagowla raga. Krishnam Kalayasakhi Sundaram , a popular tarangam in Kuchupudi, composed in Mukhari was executed well by the dancer.

The final number of the recital was a tillana of Swathi Tirunal written in Hindi tuned in Dhanasri. It made a refreshing appeal with some Kathak touches, especially in the g unghru (ankle bells) sounds and costumes that the artiste donned for this number. The rhythm was provided with apt muktayis.

In all these numbers Ujvala displayed maturity in following her guru Usha Gayatri's impressive nattuvangam to Srivalli Sarma's vocal support and Sridharacharya's mridangam. Kolanka Anil Kumar on violin, Venkatesh on flute and Srikanth on ghatam also lent good support throughout.