Narrating a story through dance

Published: 29th July 2013 11:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2013 11:56 AM   |  A+A-


Good artistes should possess the skills of  translating artistry into performance. Tight schedules have resulted in artistes adopting shorter formats. This to an extent has affected the art form concerned and is particularly true in the case of Bharatanatyam. We seldom come across fully detailed elaborations of compositions. Only in longer versions does the right technique come through.

Viewed from this point of view, Meghana Hebbar, a highly talented disciple of Guru Maalika Girish Phanicker of Singapore, was full of effort in her marathon Bharatanatyam recital held at the JSS auditorium on Saturday.  The Bharatanatyam recital was enriched by the dancer’s expressive skills. The techniques were applied beautifully in the performance. Her endurance levels, amazing executions and the training given by the teacher were applauded by the rasikas.

The recital began traditionally with a Pushpanjali followed by Ganesha stuti and other salutations. The khanda alarippu vouched for her anga shuddhi and the varieties of angikas delighted the audience. In the next Vachaspathi jathiswara, Meghana outdid herself. Intricate patterns of jathis and swaras were translated neatly into varieties of adavus.

Varna is the most challenging and considered the most reliable yardstick to measure the worth of a dancer. In an age when varnas are being shrunk in dimension, rendering the Tamil version of Tanjavur Quartet’s Todi varna Inda kopam emo endan Swamy continuously for sixty plus minutes was stunning. Lord Shiva’s anger and the nayaki requesting Him to grace her with His love was the theme. Opening the varna with a tana, the dancer depicted Daksha samhara, Veerabhadra and other sancharees. The nritta, nrithya and abhinaya segments were beautifully presented by the artiste. Also, the lengthy varna was a proof of her stamina.

Apt theermaanas, resonating foot work and dramatic narration of the episodes such as the nayika pining for love and the pain of separation were the other highlights. While delineating a Devaranama Kaanade nillalare kamaneeya mooruthiya(Madhuvanthi), she transformed into a  devotee who is in pursuit of the Lord.

Meghana’s Guru Maalika cast a spell on the rasikas with her subtle abhinaya for Hare jaya Madhava Krishna (Sri). The Krishna-Kuchela tale was portrayed with her saatwikaabhinaya. Maalika led an effective ensemble of seasoned musicians with her awe inspiring nattuvanga.

Poignant portrayals

Young Deepashree A V, trained by Guru Rajalakshmi and the daughter of an ardent dance connoisseur A G Jayanthi showed her talents through her Bharatanatyam performance held at Nayana auditorium under the aegis of Every Wednesday Cultural Evening Programme series. Her poignant portrayals gave us the satisfaction of watching a practitioner deeply engrossed in bringing into light the various niceties of the art form. Her eyes smiled and the limbs spoke.

The dancer was precise and incredibly expressive.

Deepashree emerged as the most powerful dancer and her distinctive clarity of movements astounded the audience.

Suitably supported by Guru Rajalakshmi(nattuvanga), Srivatsa(vocal), Natarajamurthy(violin), Maheshswamy(flute), Lingaraju(mridanga) and Prasannakumar(khanjari), she was into action with Pushpanjali which was based on an instrumental jugalbandhi. A Devi stuti Amba Jagajjanani in Kannada(raga talamalika) was used to sketch the greatness of Goddesses like Parvathi, Saraswathi and Lakshmi.

The myriad shades of devotion were depicted with conviction by her.

The explication of Abheri varna Sundareshwaranu baaraneke wove around Goddess Parvathi’s longing for Lord Shiva.  Parvathi as a virahothkhanthita nayaki stood out in Deepashree’s abhinaya. The nritta and nrithya portions of the varna were perfect. The lovers of dance were captivated by her effortless moves. Fundamental components of adavus, hasta mudras, bedhas could be found in the performance.  Her vachikaabhinaya was satisfying.

Calm and smooth

Pure traditionalism pervaded the two dance recitals held under the banner of International Art and Culture Foundation led by Photo-journalist Srivatsa Shandilya at the Khimcha auditorium on Sunday. Experienced Bharatanatyam artiste Gayathri Sriram of Singapore and a scholar cum Bharatanatyam expert Dr Sowndarya Srivatsa were the triumphant dancers. Both of them performed with conviction, showcasing their maturity as performers. Their ability to exude calm while moving smoothly through the space drew our attention.

Gayathri’s dance was enlivened by the musical support extended by her Guru Minal Prabhu(nattuvanga), Karthik Hebbar(vocal) and others. The Pushpanjali was laced with the rendition of Krishna ena baarade. In the spread out of Kaanada

varna Endu kayuve, the nritta,

nrithya and abhinaya spoke of her skillfulness and remarkable hold over laya. Her abhinaya was further solidified  in the enactment of Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi Yahi Madhava(Sindhubhairavi). The popular Tamil pada Vishamakkara Kannan had an intimate portrayal.

Admirable display of talent

Dr Sowndarya who has been

recently awarded the doctoral degree from the Bangalore University for her thesis on dance, rendered the Gambheer Nata Kannada varna in a memorable manner and gave an admirable display of unifying movement in toto. The dancer’s prowess embellished her power-packed nritta passages and expressions. Sparks of exceptional mime came forth in the impersonation of a Kannada poem (Howdene) by the veteran poet Dr G SShivarudrappa.

The concluding Durga tillana was another delightful interpretation.

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