Young and promising dancers rose to the occasion and regaled the audiences with their laudable performances during the three-day Guru K P Kittappa Pillai Memorial Youth Dance Festival. It was held under the auspices of Ponnaiah Lalithakala Academy at the Academy’s own Guru Padmini Rao Parampara Arts and Culture Research Development auditorium at Chennammanakere Achchukattu.
With a view to popularise the compositions of Tanjore Quartet, it has been made compulsory that at least one composition from their repertoire be presented in the performances during the festival. Late Guru Padmini Rao’s foresight seems to have been rewarding. Thanks to Sridhar, Shreyas, Shwetha Lakshman and other senior students for their dedicated effort in seeing the festival through.
Profound abhinaya The 11th annual festival began with a neat Bharatanatya recital by Kavya Shanmugam, a disciple of Guru Geethalakshmi Govindarajan.
Endowed with an excellent stage personality, presence, and appropriate facial expressions, Kavya saluted Vatapi Ganapathim’(Hamsadhwani) with a neat exposition on Lord Ganesha. She followed it up with Pushpanjali.
Supported suitably by Geetha (nattuvanga), Chennakeshava (vocal), Somanna (violin), Venugopal (flute) and Purushottam (mridanga), she dwelt upon Tanjore Shivanandapillai’s Anandbhairavi varna (Sakhiye inda vele jaalam).
She enacted with aplomb, the role of a pining heroine who shares her sufferings with her sakhi and yearns for reunion with her Lord. The performance could be more profound with experience. The familiar ‘Baagilanu teredu’ pada aptly underscored the underlying devotional element. The Brindavani tillana was an artistic finale.
Guru Ashok Kumar’s disciple Bhargavi Parsam gave a neat and tidy treatment to the nritta, nrithya and abhinaya in her Bharatanatya recital. As usual a Pushpanjali and a krithi on Ganesha ‘Vara Vallabha’ (Hamsadhwani) were the opening numbers that were performed with ease and poise. Accompanied by Ashok Kumar(nattuvanga), Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Venugopal (flute) and Balakrishna (mridanga), she exhibited her infallible hold over the subtleties of her dance form while working out Tanjore Brothers’ Shankarabharana varna (Manavi chekona) where the nayika prays to her Lord to fulfill her desires.
The dance and abhinaya sequences were confidently dealt with by Bhargavi.
Her artistic commitment was praiseworthy.
Infallible hold over technique
On the second day of the dance festival, veteran Guru Padmini Ramachandran presented her prized disciple Minu Mithunshyam.
Minu is an experienced dancer and has been exposed to the stage quite frequently. Thus her delineation of Khamach varna (Swamini rammanave) was profound and almost flawless. Buta the only thing that was distracting her, even though she continued to dance, was her dislodged ornaments.
The saving grace was her laya, which was almost precise, her ease in performing complicated karanas, jathis, aduvus etc. A Tamil pada ‘Enna tavam saidane’(Kapi raga) provided material to depict the vatsalya bhava and rasa through the Krishna and Yashoda theme.
The pranks of child Krishna, and the patience, love and affection of a mother were portrayed with natural ease. Guru Padmini Ramachandran (nattuvanga), Ramesh Chadaga(vocal) and others forming the musical ensemble did extremely well.
The most popular ‘Sringapuraadhe-eshwari Sharade’ (Kalyani) brought out the elegant beauty of the Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi. Vandhya Sharath’s Bharatanatya was marked by the expansive treatment meted out to the Bhairavi varna (‘Mohamaaye’). Spellbinding Kuchipudi natya
An attractive presence and a vivacious face coupled with abundant staying power and conviction, young and beautiful Prateeksha Kashi, the daughter-disciple of well known exponent of Kuchipudi dance Vyjayanthi Kashi, gave a spellbinding performance at Keshava Kalpa, an auditorium on Link Road, Seshadripuram. Her dance line and profile were enriched by the precise stance and perfect sense of rhythm. The taut executions were aesthetic too.
Purandaradasa’s ‘Hari aadidanu’ was redolent with the pranks of the little Krishna. Prateeksha presented them with natural ease and a few rounds of her nritta on the brass plate was full of substance for a meaningful translation into the dance idiom. Swati Tirunal’s Hindi composition Shanakara Srigirinatha had crisp jathis and aduvus besides the explication of the great attributes of Lord Shiva.
Her presentation of Lekha, an excerpt from the Bhamakalapamu both in seated position and in covering the stage was a connoisseur’s delight She concluded with a Devi stuti.