A Dance Festival Showcasing Many Talents

Published: 05th January 2015 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2015 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The musical and visual scores of the concluding day of the annual Rasa Sanje 2014-15 dance festival enthralled the audience at ADA Rangamandira. Veteran dance Guru Radha Sridhar must be commended for providing a significant exposure to young and established dancers during the festival.

Dancer-sisters Nitasha Radhakrishna and Biyanka Radhakrishna trained by Guru Radha Sridhar brought a fine technique and an engaging innocence to their expressively detailed renditions. The duo accompanied by Prasanna Kumar (nattuvanga), Deepti Srinath (vocal), Natarajamurthy (violin), Jayaram (mridanga) and Janardhana Rao (mridanga)  astounded with their athletic prowess, physical strength, balance and synergistic collaboration.The dancers excelled in the spacing and pacing of demanding compositions. As the dance progressed, there was a wonderful coherence and they moved in perfect unison.

The delineation of the ragamalika number was the attractive part of their duet. The systematic progression was packed with a fine dosage of nritta, nrithya and abhinaya. While the technical aspects were handled with care and precision, the abhinaya was highly communicative and at the same time artistic too. Dashavataras were visualized neatly with each of the dancers changing the roles in quick succession and doing full justice to the characters, emotions and technicalities. Nitasha and Biyanka gave their best in sketching the popular Ashtaragamalika varna Saami nine kori by Tanjavur Quartet. The traits of a virahotkantitha nayika was captured in a refined abhinaya. The duo met the demands of the nritta with ease.

Spontaneity in abhinaya

Bharatanatya by a renowned exponent Prathibha Prahlad was absolutely breathtaking. The utilization of the large set pieces was artfully done and contributed well to the choreography and message. Splendidly supported by Sriganesh (nattuvanga), P. Ramaa (vocal), Ganeshkumar (violin) and Jayaram (flute), Prathibha started majestically with Swagatham Krishna (Mohana) by Ottukkadu prefaced by a shloka (Vasudevasutam). The madhyama kala sahitya and the nritta in different gathis were a class apart. Complex varieties of swaras and jathis were adapted to an elegant nritta. Her depiction of Kaliya mardana and asura mardana glued the rasikas to their seats. Spontaneity was the key word of her abhinaya.

The exacting Vachaspathi varna (Velanai vara solladi) was delivered with passionate intensity. The awe inspiring negotiation of each and every segment of the varna proved Prathibha’s profundity. Going beyond the level of sahitya and with a mature imagination she ensured a most memorable evening.

Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi Kuru Yadunandana was the more extended piece that gave the greatest scope for a highly polished saatwikaabhinaya in general and extempore and more internalised  abhinaya performance.

With superb acting, she gave a detailed picture of the divine love of Krishna and Radha. Prathibha succeeded in portraying complex, three-dimensional characters, emotions and sentiments without ever making a slip. The exceptional portrayal made it possible for the viewers to identify with different characters and to observe how their personality and story fitted in.  Her saatwika was all spun-gold precision, teasing out the music’s grace notes and framing her fiercely determined gaze with the subtle flow of her arms. On the whole the Ashtapadi was a brilliant and infinitely quoted score.

Energetic Bharatanatya

The evening ended with a fascinatingly energetic and compellingly meaningful solo Bharatanatya

 by a seasoned dancer-guru-choreographer Mithun Shyam. He did not miss a beat with interesting, fast-paced choreography, complex patterning and a mix of conventionality and technicality. Mithun was graceful and physically eloquent, his intense but changeable emotions were exquisitely expressed. He gave out his best in the rendition of the popular varna. The vigorous leaps and jumps, limb stretches et al were appropriate to male dancing and the lovers of dance had a rare opportunity of witnessing those movements on stage. The way he maneuvered the stage and the rhythm was exemplary. The musical support led by his guru Padmini Ramachandran (nattuvanga) and Ramesh Chadaga (vocal) was enriching.

Lucid expositions

It was altogether a  unique and different type of audio visual delight when noted scholar K.L. Sreenivasan led Geetha Chitra Kathaa programme at Sri Bharathi Teertha Sabha mantapa in HRBT Lay Out held under the aegis of Sri Surbharathi Sanskrit and Cultural Foundation. The Foundation has been holding a month long Margasheershotsava for the last 10 years under the leadership of Sreenivasan. It is commendable that a rich tradition is being rejuvenated under his direction. Nagarasankeerthana starting with the morning bhajan rounds in the locality and cultural programmes in the evenings.

During the Geetha Chitra Kathaa programme, one was enthralled by the confluence of words, musical sounds and colourful and perfect lines. Sreenivasan won the hearts of the listeners with his expert and informative oratory. Veteran singer Lakshmi accompanied by Goverdhan (violin) and Mohankumar (mridanga) sang melodious ragas, Sanskrit shlokas, krithis, bhajans, Naamaavalis and verses. Manjula Premkumar drew seven pictures on spot reflecting the messages served by Sreenivasan.

In his lucid speech, the speaker brought to the fore the greatness of  guru, Lord Vinayaka, Shiva pooja, Shakti worship, Lord Rama, the Sun God and so on. He profusely quoted Sanskrit and musical sources to substantiate his observations.


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