It was a devotion-filled journey, where simplicity prevailed. Noted dance artiste Zakir Hussain, keeps the choreography simple, concentrating more on the focus of its presentation.
At Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Zakir Hussain’s Sri Padam Academy of dance prsented Andal which is one of the favourite themes of many dancers. The performance was a combination of Nruthyam, by his disciple Monica Narayan and upanyasam by Pravachana Vachaspathi Anantha Padmanabhachariar.
We witnessed resurgence with Zakir Hussain’s approach to inter disciplinary exposition involving Pravachanam and research, we were also aware that he was a ‘fibre technologist’, who knows perfect weaving and knitting. The programme commenced with Pushpanjali from Thiruvadi Poorathil, Andal Pasuram where the verses were well knitted, with jathis in pancha nadai, which illustrated the capacity of the artiste. Her dynamism was evident.
The focal point of this dance ballet, was the Varnam Paarkadal Palli Kollum set to Ragamalika, when the dancer Monika, deftly conveyed the persistent desire of Andal, who envies the fortune of the conch to remain in the hands of the Lord and drink the Vaiamudham of Lord Krishna.
Right from the beginning, the Guru, did not allow the dancer to compromise on the quality of dance. This was very evident in anupallavi, when Zakir Hussain interpreted with unrequited love of Andal, bringing out the pasuram Mamudha Nidhi Soriyum. Where Andal asks the Black clouds, What did Krishna promise? To which the Karmugil (Black clouds) reply as “Maam Ekam Sharanam Vraje,” justifying that Krishna is the sole Lord, who can give refuge to any devotee!
Needless to mention that Zakir Hussain’s research into the Vaishnavite sampradya and his focus on the devotional angle, exploring few incidents is really appreciable. His narration, illustrates his capacity to envision and his intra disciplinary approach guided by Revathi Shankaran, involving Pravachanam & research, which undoubtedly attracts the youth in a big way.
The stage decor was laudable, with a small decorative umbrella with jasmines canopied, a low tripod heaped with flowers, on which a huge ‘conch’ was placed, representing the theme of the Varnam, in which Andal taking the conch to be a maid, and sends as an emissary to the Lord. The orchestra led by Zakir Hussain’s spiritual Nattuvangam and sustained singing with tempo by Hari Prasad, lent a soft feel, in deference to the bhakti-based presentation.