BANGALORE: The Bharatnatyam recital by Rakshitha J Gowda held at ADA Rangamandira last Sunday was something extraordinary. Despite an incurable chronic disease and treading on the path of healing, Rakshitha resolved to do something more to get better and actively seek remission. Unperturbed by the odds, Rakshitha worked hard in her pursuit of Bharatnatyam. She could see herself as a dancer deep down inside. I don’t think your inner dancer can ever really fully be vanquished once it has had the chance to soar across a stage. Thanks to the training by her guru Shubha Dhananjaya, her performance showed that she is technically superb. Her account of nritta was highly charged with passionate and deeply emotional abhinaya. She could capture to perfection the various mood swings.
Blessed with an outstanding dancer, choreographer and guru Shubha Dhananjaya also demonstrated brilliant ideas and artistry as her mentor. Rakshitha demonstrated her ability to render Bharatnatyam with deep understanding. Unequivocally, Rakshitha’s dance was of terrific panache and perception. Splendidly supported by Shubha Dhananjaya (nattuvanga), Ramya Suraj (vocal), Dr Natarajamurthy (violin) and Harsha Samga (mridanga), Prasannakumar (rhythm pad), the dancer was repeatedly commended for her accomplishments.
The mangala and alarippu were followed by a neat and tidy Jathiswara set to Kannada raga. The juxtaposition of the adavus, swaras and solkattus and their execution was a treat. A familiar krithi in Kapi raga Janakiramana was interpreted artistically. Veteran flautist Dwaraki Krishnaswamy’s Kannada varna Bhuvana sundarana kare taare woven around Lord Krishna was the mainstay of her recital. His beauty, deeds and love were portrayed in an intimate manner. The 30-minute delineation covered all the subtleties and niceties of Bharatnatyam’s nritta, nrithya and abhinaya.
Shubha’s dance presentations will not be complete without Perini nrithya. Remember the plate and pot dance of Kuchipudi natya? On the same lines in Perini nrithya, the dancer creates a web of rhythmic patterns while dancing on a pot. Rakshitha remarkably negotiated all those demanding jathis with ease and comfort. Opening with nritta she rendered abhinaya for Aadikondane, a krithi in praise of Lord Shiva and concluded with a delightful nritta on pot.
One of the senior most dancer gurus of Bharatnatyam, Padma Murali deserves to be commended for boosting up the morale of young dancers by providing a suitable stage to exhibit their talent. A classical dance festival Youth In Dance held under the auspices of her Padmalaya Dance Foundation on Saturday was a celebration of joy.
Varsha and Supriya trained by veteran Guru Radha Sridhar gave a creditable account of their talent by rendering Shiva tandava on the basis of Aadenamma (Pharaz raga). They drew the attention of the rasikas with their laudable coordination and synchronisation in their moves and movements. The vibrancy of Kalinga narthana (Gambhira Nata) was conspicuous throughout its display.
Vibrant Kuchipudi natya
Young dancer Gururaj stole the show with his typical Kuchipudi natya features. He covered the entire stage with resonating rhythmic mudras. Though the Poorva ranga vidhi yielded mixed results, he did well in dealing with the Marathi krithi Tandava nrithya kare in praise of Gajanaana. Lord Rama was eulogised through the Rama shabda(Mohana raga) with a shloka. Sandhya tandava exposed the charming dance of Lord Nataraja. Gururaj in his racy, graceful and energetic rendition was marked by vivid and varied charis and karanas accounting for an excellent nritta. His vigorous tandava movements were perfectly etched. As expected, he concluded with the popular taranga Marakatha manimaya(ragamalika) of Narayana Teertha. He demonstrated his bewitching balance and hold over laya by dancing on a brass plate to the line Nrittyasta paadaaravinda and executing intricate rhythmic designs.
The four dancers Sharadha, Ranjitha Kumar, Namrata Sudhir and Shwetha of Padmalaya Dance Ensemble did not impose personal interpretations on the movement but they just let it flow in the tale and music of Lord Krishna in their group presentation entitled Vamshi. The great and wide-ranging personality of the Lord was highlighted on the basis of different compositions in different languages. All this began with the eka shloki Bhagavatha rendering the entire theme of Sri Bhagavatha in a single shloka, Aadou Devaki devi, in Kapi raga.
Purandaradasa’s Chikkavane ivanu elaborated the pranks of child Krishna. A captivating kavadi chindu Kannan varuginra neram portrayed the eagerness of the inmates of Brindavana who are awaiting the arrival of their beloved Balakrishna. The joy of Krishna’s beauty, intellect and soul got rightly represented in the concluding Tillang tillana. The dancers were attentive and supportive in every detail. Their dance style was open and clean. The items staged by four members of the Padmalaya Ensemble were endearingly framed. Here the meeting of dancers and choreography was perfect. Much of the pleasure was derived from the limb movements and rhythmical steps. The austerely beautiful formations, all freshly delivered, were completely delightful. It always made them look beautiful, with their sculpted shapes, curving and plaiting lines. Without exaggeration but with just the right degree of elucidation, their dance revealed extraordinary originality. They were applauded for the way that they could explore the potential of the thematic material so thoroughly yet so artlessly. The unity and separation of the dancers in its changing geometries gave a poignant emphasis to the human drama.
Seasoned Mohini Attam dancer Rekha Raju started her recital with the traditional Cholkattu in Hameer Kalyani raga. Always in tune with the laya of Mohini Attam and underscoring its slow and graceful attributes, Rekha dwelt upon a Purandaradasa devarnama Kadagola taranna. The characterisation of Balakrishna with all details intact spoke volumes of her abhinaya expertise. She paid her obeisance to Lord Guruvayur Appan with the support of a Karnaranajini composition Om Namo Narayana.
The curtain of the festival came down with an enjoyable Odissi recital by Abhayalakshmi. Drawing from the Geetha Govinda of Jayadeva, she rendered Shrita Kamala, and saluted the Lord in mishra khamaj raga. A rare Patadeep pallavi was the main item of her recital. The exposition in the form of the delineation of the raga had all the elements of the Odissi dance.
Again Krishna theme appeared. An Odissi poem Malli mala by Upendra Bhanja (Kalyan raga) was used to draw the charm of Krishna and Gopika’s love and devotion towards Him. It acquired a wonderful vulnerability and the technical prowess had a marvellous velocity.