FRIDAY REVIEW

Dancer with great commitment

Revati Ramachandran

Revati Ramachandran  

"BHAAVAARPANAM" GIVES me a great emotional satisfaction of having remembered my master, Mangudi Sri Durairaja Iyer, with utmost reverence and humility in thought, an approach which he himself preached to his disciples. His mind was noble and his submission to art was total," said Revati Ramachandran, who has been paying tribute to her mentor through the annual Bhavaarpanam event.

As in the previous years, Revati chose to honour a senior Bharatanatyam exponent during this function. By honouring Rhadha, one of the most graceful torch-bearers of the Vazhuvoor tradition, Revati added glory to Bhaavaarpanam.

Revati Ramachandran is a graceful Bharatanatyam artiste and a senior disciple of Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer, who incidentally was also a mridangam exponent.

A sincere teacher and a laya expert who worked keenly on the aspects of pure dance, Iyer laid emphasis on the intricacies of rhythm weaving them into the dance format that he composed. Thus came into existence the Suddha Nrittam compositions associated with this school.

Beginning her early training with Dorairaja Iyer in 1969, Revati has remained steadfast in her chosen path following the values taught by her teacher who was equally committed to yogic practices and meditation.

`Om Saravana Bhava' ... a great success abroad

`Om Saravana Bhava' ... a great success abroad  

``The insight he has given me has led me through a gradual blossoming and realisation of the aesthetic beauty of the art along with an inner strength of the Self that makes the dancer rich with the experience of the transcendental quality of the art form.

If there is perfect alignment between internalisation of values of art and life in a dancer, then the whole pattern of her communication becomes very different and unique; it makes her rise above the level of mundane thinking," said Revati, who is an ardent follower of Swami Dayananda.

Revati's thematic presentations have won wide acclaim, for instance the recent one — ``Om Saravana Bhava" — the ballet narrating the different episodes on the six-faced deity. Choreographed and produced by Kala Sadhanalaya of Revati, this production recently toured 16 major cities of the U.S., winning laurels everywhere.

The ballet which was staged here, during Bhaavaarpanam, gave ample proof of Revati's skill for thematic choreography and her deep involvement in such endeavours. Hard work and expertise not only in technique, but in other details of stage craft, to create the right impact, were well-evident in this venture of Revati. ``We received standing ovations wherever we performed; for the students, it was a great exposure; the audience appreciated expressing admiration for our arts and religion; particularly the inclusion of Kaavadis, that we carried all the way from here and the folksy foot work and dance patterns by the dancers in group, overwhelmed them," explained Revati. Her composition of these sequences as well as those like Nadabindu Kalaadi and the inclusion of Suddha Nritta with the Lord as Somaskandamurti (Siva with Uma and Skanda) provided delightful moments for the Chennai audience too.

Revati, who has performed solo recitals in almost all the major platforms within the country, is a recipient of several awards and titles. A respected teacher for many of her talented, noteworthy disciples including Aarti Mohan, Shilpa Darshan, Divya and Darshana Subramaniam, Sridharini, Ramya, Aiswarya, and her own daughter, Manasvini, all of whom displayed amazing spirit and devotion in ``Om Saravana Bhava."

NANDINI RAMANI

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