Scintillating recital by Katyayani Gupta
- A. Boothalingam
e-mail: blingam1940@yahoo.com

February 18, 2016

Katyayani Gupta, a promising disciple of Guru Kamalini Dutt, herself a disciple of Sikkil Ramaswamy Pillai, gave a scintillating recital under the auspices of Kartik Fine Arts at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, on 20th January 2016.

Endowed with a good stage presence, Katyayani commenced the recital with the traditional Mallari in tisram, khandam and misram with excerpts from Lalitha Ashtothram. After the invocatory piece, Katyayani took up the central piece, the varnam “Vanajaaksha” in Behag composed by maestro T. R. Subramaniam. The lines “Vanajaksha ninne nammithi naameetha krupa joodara” was interspersed with slokas from the Bhagavatam with a sanchari depicting Gajendra Moksham. The abhinaya for this line by Katyayani was very convincing. The next line “Sanakaadi muni sannuda padha” similarly was followed by a sanchari on Narasimha avatharam. The nrithya for the first line of the charanam “Saatileni maara koti sundara” meaning that the beauty and grace of Venugopala Swami cannot be equalled by the beauty of a crore Manmatha, was excellently done by Katyayani. The jathis were executed with immaculate precision.

The padam section included Muthu Thandavar's “Theruvil Vaaraano” in Kamas, a very popular piece in Bharatanatyam genre. “Vaasal mun nillaano, enakkoru vasakam shollano... Desikan ambalavaanan nadampuri devaadhi devan Chidambaranaadhan” were aptly portrayed by Katyayani. She was at her best in the abhinaya for the lines “pod pogudillaye, enakkoru thoodhu selvaarillaye.” Katyayani concluded her recital with a thillana in Senchurutti, composed by Veena Sheshanna on Maharaja of Mysore. This thillana was popularised by vidwan Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer in the field of music.

Katyayani was ably supported by K. Venkateswaran on vocal, Thanjavur R. Kesavan on percussion, Raghavendra Prasath on violin and Rajat Prassana on the flute. Dr. S. Vasudevan wielded the cymbals very effectively. Katyayani is an artiste to watch out for in the years to come.

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