Vibrant and colourful dance extravaganza - The New Indian Express

Vibrant and colourful dance extravaganza

Published: 11th December 2012 08:59 AM

Last Updated: 11th December 2012 08:59 AM

By clubbing duet classical dance performances and group presentations of various denominations, the five-day annual Kala Nadam, a mega festival of classical dance and music led and organised by the most popular seasoned Kathak dancer-duo Nandini Mehtha and Murali Mohan was a grand success.  The 13th annual dance bonanza was held at ADA Rangamandira and dancers from different parts of the country regaled the packed audiences with their meritorious performances. Nandini and Murali deserve to be specially commended for their philanthropic outlook. As in the previous years, this year also the proceeds of the above dance festival were dedicated in aid of an Old Age Home Nemmadi Vishranthi Dhaama.

Impressive dance: On the second day of the festival the big stage of ADA Rangamandira was utilised for two interesting programmes. The first one was Kathakkali (stree vesham) by an outstanding Kathakkali dance Prabal Guptha. Prabal has mastered the art of streevesham. That is to say, the male dancer performing the dance by donning female costumes. In other words, impersonation of a female character by an expert male dancer. Prabal who has been working hard in this genre for the past several years, proved his credentials as a matured stree vesham dance. His dedication and devotion to the dance form was unquestionable. Dancing to a recorded traditional music, he mesmerized the rasikas with his meticulous exposition of his talent and artistry. As per the tradition, Prabal began with a technique oriented number Purappadu. Lord Rama was saluted in his expressive abhinaya. The pure dance sequences were filled with the typical and authentic movements of Kathakkali. As expected, delineation of Pootana Moksham was the main item of the evening. The well known story drawn from Mahabharatha is all about the demoness Pootana, who in the disguise of a beautiful woman comes to infant Krishna and plans to kill him by feeding him through her poisoned breasts but gets killed by the wonder-infant Krishna. This story line was developed on the basis of a raga and talamalika composition by Ashwathi Tirunal. Moving slowly and gracefully in a lively Kathakkali vocabulary with colourful and vibrant authentic costumes, Prabal sent the audience into raptures with his nuanced abhinaya. His impersonation of the Pootana character was total and complete.

Well choreographed: Next, it was the turn of the mentors of the festival Nandini Mehtha and Murali Mohan and their disciples to send the audience into raptures. In their choreography, the dancers made a genuine foray into new channels in Kathak’s movement exploration. Gliding along in stately dignity, leaping,  moving in tip-toed delight — it was an artistic interplay of variety of attitudes and movement.  Sculpting space in myriad forms the choreography also explored how geometrical patterns could evoke certain moods. There were movements epitomising feminine grace and lyricism.  Remarkable trained the dancers displayed excellent coordination and not a false move dislocated the performance at any stage.

Splendidly supported by Ganesh Desai (vocal), Praveen Rao (tabla), Shruthi Kamath (sitar), Prakash (flute), the  vibrancy and vivacity of Kathak captivated the lovers of dance. The opening nritta part based on Dhamar (14 beats) was enthralling.  Likewise, the tarana in Pooriya Dhanashri was classically elegant.  Murali Mohan was a class by himself and his satwika oriented abhinaya visualised the meeting of Krishna and his old and intimate friend Sudama on the basis of a thumri (Malkauns).  Likewise, Nandini was a picture of poise and perfection in sketching a Hindi composition Chod Bihari (Yaman).

Nandini and Murali disciples Smita Srinivasan, Poorna Acharya, Arpita Banerjee and Samavitha Sharma did proud to their Gurus by presenting Varsha (the visual imagery highlights the burst of the clouds accompanied with the rejoicing peacocks, the singing Cuckoos, the love in the air, the smell of the earth on the first rain, the thunder and lightening and Teentaal.

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