CHENNAI: On Narasimha Jayanti, ushering in the religious spirit were member of the Tapas Foundation, who along with Mahalakshmi Ashwin and team of artistes presented Prahlada – Sangeetha Natya Roopakam, at the Music Academy on Saturday.
While most of the audience knew the mythological story of Prahlada, who was elevated to spiritual bliss by his devotion to lord Vishnu at a very young age, for people who had partial knowledge of the legendary tale, Embar Kasturi, the spiritual guru gave a rendition of the significance of the story and the deeper meaning that it holds, just before the performance began.
Beautifully choreographed by Mahalakshmi Aswin, the dance drama was surreal for the fact that it brought the age old myth to life. The performances were depicted in such way that through the sequential and effective allignment of the scenes, one almost felt like he or she was watching a film, eagerly waiting for the next scene.
Ghatam V Umashankar’s music gave a new dimension to the performances of the artistes, as they performed each scene with utmost devotion. The dancers, both enacted the characters and matched their steps to show the life of Prahlada through various stages of his spiritual empowerment. And the passage of seasons depicted through changing backdrops showed Prahlada grow from an infant to child prodigy. He also outgrew his peers to reach the horizon of spirituality. The young dancer, Manasa Sriram, who played the role of Prahlada, matched the grace the persona demanded of her. There were some funny moments in the play, as the constant efforts by the kings’ men to kill him fail and they become perplexed to see their strenuous efforts go in vain.
P B Srirangachari, Balagurunathan and Shivakumar played the lead roles in the production, which was directed by Ashwin Kumar Iyer.