Making full use of her dance abilities or art resources young and an enterprising aspirant of Bharatanatya Smrithi M Harits proved herself a winner all the way at her Bharatanatyarecital held on Saturday at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. Appropriately trained by Guru Vasundhara Sampathkumar her dance combined the tradition-bound purity of the Guru’s style as well as an infectious and disarming joy in the inner realm of the art.
Dancing with an artistic and lavish backdrop and superbly conducted by Guru Vasundhara Sampathkumar (nattuvanga) along with Balasubramanya Sharma (vocal), Natarajamurthy (violin), Jayaram (flute), Prasannakumar (rhythm pads) and Purushottam (mridanga), Smrithi made amends to her somewhat a shaky start. Appreciatively, within a few minutes from the start, she gained her ground and from there she never looked back. Her confidence and conviction pervaded the whole recital.
The very opening number was a challenging one. It was Mallari (Gambheera Nata raga), essentially a rhythm oriented nagaswara item. The jathis were beautifully translated into varied aduvus and Smrithi’s pure dance was excellent. Vijayavitthala’s ‘Gajavadana paaliso’ (Abhogi) radiated with the portrayal of Lord Ganesha’s salient traits and through her neat abhinaya she saluted Him. The Subrahmanya kauvuthuvam in praise of Lord Muruga was a welcome selection. But I did not see any rationale or beauty of dancer bedecking her head with peacock feathers.
She grew with the dance and took on its more demanding aspects with marching freshness and vigour. Matching aduvus, intricate jathis and teermanas marked the ragamalika jathiswara.
She had one of the familiar varnas for her detailed treatment. ‘Sakhiye inda jaalam eladi endan Swamiye varacholladi’ set to Shankarabharana is all about a virahothkhanthitha nayika who pours out her heart to her sakhi and requests her to call Him back to her place. Her stances, gaits and nritta vouched for her hard work and right understanding of the medium. A couple of missed ardhamandalis, notwithstanding, Smrithi let her sancharis range with clarity and conviction over the entire gamut of appropriate classical mythology. The rounds of jathis were artistically handled, reaching the sama after variegated play of rhythm as if that were the only logical conclusion to the movements. A dancer to watch on all counts. In the Pharaz javali (Cheli ne netlu) the dancer sketched a vasikasajjika nayika with her admirable abhinaya. ‘Gummana kareyadire’ (Tillang) accounted for the depiction of the pranks of child Krishna. ‘Natyavannadida’ on Lord Nataraja was followed by the concluding Sindhubhairavi tillana.
The students and well wishers of a versatile, vivacious and illustrious exponent of Bharatanatya and Yoga guru Dr Vasundhara Doraswamy felicitated her at the Mysore Medical College auditorium in the presence of Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, Sri Bhashyam Swamiji, renowned singer Shyamala Bhave, Vishwanath, MP and other dignitaries under the supervision of a noted auditor TR Harish and Suresh. Under the leadership of Dr Vasundhara the silver jubilee of her school Vasundhara Centre for Performing Arts was held throughout the last year. She is very popular as ‘Amma’ among her students. A felicitation volume entitled ‘Amma’ was deservingly brought out.
The senior students of Guru Vasundhara saluted her through dance. The group rendition of a Pushpanjali, Shivapanchakshari stotra and a composition addressing her ‘Vandane abhivandane abhimanada vandane’ was rendered in a neat and tidy manner under the direction of Varija Nalige, one of the senior most students of Vasundhara.
Guru Dr Vasundhara acknowledged the felicitation with her vibrant and visually appealing Bharatanatya. There was never a dull moment in her recital. The rasikas were spellbound to watch the Mallari and its nritta component being handled with ease and precision. She literally dazzled in the exposition of pure dance and abhinaya sequences of the familiar Navaragamalika varna ‘Swamiye alaizhi todi va’ depicting the pining nayika talking with her sakhi.