BANGALORE: The Sai Nrityotsava at Sri Krishnadevaraya Kala Mandira (behind Chowdaiah Memorial Hall) began with a noteworthy Bharatanatya recital by Sukruthi.
With tasteful, taut dance lines and packed energy, Sukruthi presented her talent with utmost sincerity. Trained rigorously in Kalakshetra of Chennai, she exhibited her unflinching allegiance to the hoary tradition of that institution.
Blessed with perfect and symmetrical ardhamandalis, her nritta and nritya were well proportioned and etched. There were many refined movement references to her form. She mimicked aptly too. Her dancing resulted in a feisty performance.
Sukruthi began with an invocation to Goddess Durgadevi with the textual support of a Muthaiah Bhagavatar famous kriti set to Navarasakannada raga. Various forms of the Devi got sketched neatly. The Suruti javali was aptly portrayed. Her concluding Hindola tillana was dazzling.
Purity of Bharatanaya
Lean and tall Anusha Sridhar is a multi-talented dancer. Despite her being trained in various forms, her Bharatanatya has remained pure. Her movement vocabulary showed a strong classical bias. She opened her recital with Thyagaraja's kriti addressed to Lord Ganesha, Giriraja suta, in Bangala raga. The landmark work of the recital was the exposition of Ananda Tandaveshwara in Nagaswaravali raga in praise of Lord Shiva. It was probably the purest example of her aesthetic and artistic skills.
True to the spirit of the words, she ably filled her dance with strong and intense movements, jumping, running and displaying upper body gestures. The graceful utplavanas, lively charis, and attractive teermanas were engaged in a work of high intensity, grappling with body and mind. The extolment of Lord Nataraja was crowned with a depiction of the Navarasas and his Ardhanareeshwara configuration.
The very popular Ranjani Maala kriti, laced in Ranjani, Sriranjani, Megharanjani and Janaranjani ragas, glowed in Anusha's excellent abhinaya. The beauty and splendour of Devi and her different forms had a lucid elucidation in Anusha’s abhinaya. The handling of the line Saamagaana Vinodini deserves a special mention.
In her opening number, a Mallari (Nata raga), Irshika Krishnamurthy won the applause of the lovers of dance with her delightful interplay of footwork and laya. Besides visualising the varied images of Devi, she could evoke the bhakti rasa in her abhinaya for a Keeravani kriti. The nritta was complementary. Swati Tirunal’s javali in Behag, Saramaina maatalento, was a fine choice for her interpretative segment. She wrapped up her recital with the familiar Devaranama, Chandrachooda, drawing vivid pictures of Lord Shiva.
Sridevi gave a good account of herself in the delineation of the famous varna Mohamana. The three-tiered elaboration involving nritta, nritya and abhinaya spoke of her hardwork and skill.
The audience roamed around the different spatial configurations that framed the trio —Aparna Sastry, Varsha and Supriya—trained by the veteran guru Radha Sridhar, as they brought the curtains down on the Sai Nrityotsava.
They used multiple angles and spaces on the stage to depict Dashavatara. A Sanskrit shloka followed a Kannada composition explicating the greatness of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. One lauded the choreography not just for its movement, but also for catching the poetic spirit of the composition.
The rasikas became privy to the intimate dynamics of togetherness. The exuberant confidence, synchronicity and fluidity of movement paralleled a relationship that is high on intensity.
Each avatara was shown with the necessary details. The change of pace revealed their once entwined bodies now in a well-rehearsed retreat. Varsha, Supriya and Aparna reversed into calming body gestures, their arms gently waving above their head as though willing transcendence, an unforgettable way to end a show full of variety.
This month’s Ananya Nrityollasa held at the Seva Sadana, featured seasoned Bharatanatya dancers Uma Govind and Janani (Murali) Jayanth. Uma Govind was at home in dealing with the Ardhanareeshwara, a Shiva stuti set to Nagaswaravali raga. She stuck some captivating poses in interpreting Ardhanareeshwara and the Navarasas.
A Navaratri kriti (Janani maamava) by Swati Tirunal was appropriate to the on-going Dasara festivities. The interaction between mother Yashoda and child Krishna was intimately shown.
Young but seasoned dancer Janani (Murali) Jayanth, trained by her mother-guru Padma Murali, was a picture of poise and grace in her Bharatanatya recital.
Her visual representation of Devi was praiseworthy. Drawing lines from different shlokas, Janani froze into those captivating images. The portrayal of Ardhanareeshwara, Nityanandakari, and Roopam dehi in particular, was classy. The pranks of young Krishna and the Gopi’s concerns were beautifully underscored by Janani with the textual help of a devaranama, Chickavane ivanu.
A very interesting ragamalika, the Tamil composition Kandanum kannanum, has a devotee comparing the traits and attributes of Shanmukha and Krishna. It was based on their deeds and sports (leelas). Janani fully utilised the lyrical substance and won over the rasikas. A nayika lost in the love of her nayaka Krishna and her joy after getting to Him were characterised through Dikku teriyada katil. She rendered a Lalgudi tillana set to Maand raga with joyful abandon. It was a fitting finale.