CHENNAI: Be it lord Shiva, Krishna or Murugan — dancer Padmalaksshme Suresh transformed into whichever mythical character the song took her to. The transposition of time and space happened predominantly through her facial expressions, which had the audience glued to their seats.
The dance performance titled Atma Nrithyam by Padmalaksshme, held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Monday, was unique because rasikas had an important part in her performance. How often does one witness the audience selecting padams that they want the dancer to bring alive on stage?
The songs that were listed for the audience to select included Nee Maatale mayanura, Vishamakara kannan, Jagadodharana, Thaka thaka, Garudagamana rara, ethanai sonnalum, Bharo krishnaiyya, Thaye yashoda, among 17 others. Each among the audience was allowed to select his or her favourite five among the songs. Based on popular vote, the padams Vizhamakara kanna, garudagamana rara, Brahman Okatae, Purananuru and Bo Shambo were performed.
The performance was an ensemble of expression, skill and devotion, as the dancer brought some of the episodes from the life of lord Krishna and other mythological characters with efficacy, on the stage. Given the short span of time, the dancer chose events in such a manner so as to show a microcosm of the vibrance, dynamism and the greatness that all these mythical entities exhibited.
The show, unlike other conventional Margazhi performances, also had a piece on Vande Mataram. The audience were enthralled when the National Song was recited by a vocalist, along with accompanying artistes, while Padmalakshme personified Mother India through her movements.