Dance as storytelling: Hyderabad mesmerized by Smitha Madhav and Sindhuja's Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi

The intricate choreography by Yashoda Thakore incorporates dancing on the iconic brass plate, which left the audience stunned.
Dance as storytelling: Hyderabad mesmerized by Smitha Madhav and Sindhuja's Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi
Express.

HYDERABAD: Classical dancers often have a natural inclination towards expressing words through actions. For them, it’s almost an inbuilt nature to embody every word of the lyrics through their movements. Smitha Madhav exemplified this inherent trait during her introduction at ‘Anuroop — Exploring Parallels’. With grace, she held the mic in one hand while her other hand effortlessly conveyed the essence of her words through gestures. Presented by Natya Swara, the event held at Lamakaan recently was a captivating exploration of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi by Smitha Madhav and Sindhuja.

Following her introduction about the performance, Smitha Madhav commenced the evening with a captivating rendition of “Dhvani Pradamba Pancharatna Stotram”, presented in the evocative Kautuvam format. This Sanskrit composition venerates goddess Parvati in her manifestation as Dhvani Pradamba or Osai Koduttha Nayaki, the divine consort of Tala Pureeswara, presiding over Tirukollaka.

Sindhuja, in turn, delved into the essence of Kuchipudi Shabdams, rooted in the rich history of Melattur traditions and the Thanjavur court. Her portrayal of “Prahlada Pattabhisheka Shabdam” in Raga-Kambhoji, Tala-Misrachapu, transported the audience to the old Achyutapuram royal court. The narrative describes the popular story of the Narasimha Avatara, wherein the demon king Hiranyakashipu, granted invincibility by Brahma, meets his demise at the hands of Vishnu incarnate. The portrayal incorporates the dramatisation, which is a core characteristic of Kuchipudi.

Transitioning back to Bharatanatyam, Smitha Madhav enchanted the audience with her masterful rendition of “Chalamela” (Pada Varnam), an illustrious Telugu varnam composed by Shri Moolaiveedu Rangaswami Nattuvanar in homage to Lord Shri Ranganatha. She then mesmerised the audience with “Nallani Meni” in Ragam Purvi Kalyani, Talam Adi, a poignant Annamacharya Sankeertana extolling Lord Srinivasa’s divine exploits.

One of the highlights of the evening was Sindhuja’s performance on the Govardhana episode, set to the enchanting strains of Mohana raga, Adi tala. This tarangam from Srikrishnaleela Tarangini by Narayana Teertha describes Lord Krishna as the indomitable protector of his clan, with Lakshmi ensconced in his heart. The intricate choreography by Yashoda Thakore incorporates dancing on the iconic brass plate, which left the audience stunned.

Additionally, the rendition of “Tirumalayya” by Annamacharya in Yaman raga and Adi tala unfolded a lighter narrative. Through a wry and satirical lens, it recounted the story of a tribal girl’s humorous encounter with the divine atop the Tirumala hills, showcasing Sindhuja’s versatility and expressive range.

The final performance of the evening was marked by a beautiful performance of thillana in Bahudari raga, set to Adi tala, composed by Shri Embar S Kannan. With verses extolling the greatness of womankind, the combined prowess of Smitha Madhav and Sindhuja entranced the audience, leaving an indelible imprint of artistic brilliance and cultural resonance.

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