FRIDAY REVIEW

Refined approach to rhythm

PURE DANCE:Revathi Ramachandran.Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

PURE DANCE:Revathi Ramachandran.Photo: K.V. Srinivasan  

Revathi’s recital was ablend of the cerebraland the instinctual. VIDYA SARANYAN

Dignity and keen aesthetic perception dominated the solo recital by Revathi Ramachandran. In her rhythmic tempo, discreet emotive expressions and her dress design, the well-respected Bharatanatyam artist and teacher communicated a refined sense of the traditional form of the art.

This recital had the completeness that came from linking both the cerebral and the instinctual aspects proficiently. With ‘jet speed’ theermanams being the present-day trend in many recitals, it was heartening to see a measured tempo that gave the artist space to collect her thoughts and present distinct adavu structures with precision.

An amalgam of mime and brisk moves described the story of Andal, the saint poet who lost her heart to Lord Ranganantha. The dancer began with the slokam Shantakaram and Andal Kautuvam that echoed the philosophy of the month of Margazhi. A few gestures were enough to depict Andal’s secretive donning of the Lord’s garlands after which Revathi moved onto the combinations of verbal accents in rhythm and the identical word in verse.

A fluid sequencing of thoughts arranged beside the permutations of the Rupakam tala beats was the highlight of ‘Mohamaana En Meedil’ in Bhairavi, a Ponniah Pillai composition that charms with each telling in the hands of a dedicated dancer. Vivid descriptions whether of the temple precincts or of the mystique of Lord Tyagaraja at Tiruvarur did justice to the vintage padavarnam. The jatis were accomplished with flair and command of tala. Although the image of the heroine suffering from cupid’s arrows for the phrases ‘maarankanaigal’ needed more shades of passion, the thatti mettus and swara passages that were tackled with alacrity evened out the presentation.

The devolvement of abhinaya in the recital was realised through a Telugu lyric ‘Indendu’ and Bharatiar’s ‘Chinanchiru’.

The latter made better impact with its intrinsic emotional engagement, and the stages of girlhood and a mother’s fond heart were imaginative displays in the ragamalika piece. There was a present-day feel with this depiction and Revathi also filled in illustrations of maternal pride at the offspring’s accomplishments like classical dance. ‘Indendu’ in Suruti and Misra Chapu was no doubt a faithful presentation where the heroine turned away the wayward Kasturiranga. The hero’s fickle heart and feeble excuses were put across gracefully. Still, the picture that emerged was more of an exasperated lady and lacked the strong feeling associated with the Khandita nayika. Revathi’s signature Shudha nrittam, a composition of her Guru Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer, impressed with her sustained tempo and sturdy footwork. The subsequent lyric in Kannada ‘Bhagyadalakshmi’ concluded with a pleasing air.

The orchestral team comprising nattuvangam by Sridharini (a student of Revathi), the voice of Preeti Mahesh, mridangam play by M. S. Sukhi and violin by Kalaiarasan, presented some of the better efforts seen in the Season.

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