Scintillating recital by Meera Sreenarayanan
- A. Boothalingam
e-mail: blingam1940@yahoo.com

July 7, 2016

Meera Sreenarayanan, a senior student of Guru Nirmala Nagaraj of Kalakshetra Foundation, gave a scintillating recital in Music Academy in the HCL series on 7th June 2016 before a spellbound audience.
 
Meera commenced the recital with an alarippu in thisra eka in the traditional pattern followed by a jathiswaram by Mysore Vasudevacharya in Arabhi set to adi tala and the nritta was absolutely perfect. Meera took up, for the central piece, the Husseini Swarajathi "E Mayaladira" where the vipralabda nayika tells the nayaka, the extent of love she has for him and what can she possibly teach him. Meera’s nritya for the lines "Emani delpudu priyamu cala galadani kanukontini paliyantini ninu mecciti gadara" meaning in short, "Do I have to tell you that I have found out that I praised you ardently" ("ghanambuga"), drew the appreciation of the audience. The jathis were executed with precision and evoked repeated applause from the audience. In the next lines, "aurauraa...", the heroine asks the nayaka whether he has lost himself under the spell of the lotus eyed woman and has totally forgotten the memories of the heroine. She tells him, that it is not fair on his part to forget her, particularly when he knows that right from childhood she has been in love with him and has adored him (ciruta nati modalu ninne valacitigada). She finally pleads with him as to why he cannot consider her request. The entire Swarajathi was brilliantly executed by Meera.
 
Meera’s abhinaya for the Sindhubhairavi padham of her guru, which can be related to vasakasajjika nayika genre, which goes on to mention "varuvenendru sonnan mayileri maalai mayangum velaiyil" to depict the viragadhapam of the heroine was exquisite. The padham goes on to say that Manmadha’s senai denoted by "nilavu" or moon will vanish when the dawn appears with the seval making its usual sound "kokkarakko", implying that the viragadhapam of the heroine will vanish with the advent of dawn and the appearance of her hero Muruga. Meera's exquisite abhinaya for the lines "elli nagaithidum nilavuyum seval kooviye maraindida seithidumo" was highly suggestive of the lustful feelings of the waiting heroine for her lover Muruga.
 
The keerthanam that followed was in Hamsadhwani, "Thunga tharange Gange", which was also very appealing. The fitting finale was the thillana in Gambheeranattai composed by her guru which was also very well executed by the dancer. Meera demonstrated her mastery in nritta, nritya and natya and the audience left with an impression that here comes yet another outstanding artist who is a delight to watch throughout.
 
The performance was lifted to sublime heights by the soulful music of Bijeesh Krishna with the percussion support of Charudutt and violin by Vayala Rajendran. Udayashankar Lal wielded the cymbals very effectively.

A. Boothalingam is a former columnist of The Hindu, musician, art critic and promoter.