- Padma Jayaraj,
is a Mumbai based institute that envisions to bring the young to the many
expressions of Indian culture and tradition. The artistes of Nrityanjli
came all the way to the Krishna temple in Guruvayoor, Kerala, to pay homage
to lord Krishna. Lata Rajesh, the founder of the institute has strong roots
in Kerala and her ishta-devata is Krishna. Lata has choreographed
Narayaneeyam, the story of Krishna by the famous Sanskrit poet Melpathoor
Narayana Bhattathiri. At the end of the year it is time to pay the tribute.
The group of around 25 dancers performed in Guruvayoor at the temple premises.
is held in great reverence in Kerala. So, Lata and her troupe found themselves
performing at various venues. In these days of money-centered activities,
here is a humble artist who upholds human values. She took her students
to perform at Hermitage, for its senior citizens. Her homage to Krishna
evolved in her homage to her home state. At a time when TV viewers are
besieged by reality shows, the traditional piece both in content and form
was refreshingly welcome.
is a treatise placed very high in Sanskrit literature which summarizes
not only the narrative of Bhagavata, but also its philosophical and devotional
teachings. The author of this great text, Melpathoor Narayana Bhattathiri
was a Kerala Brahmin. A great devotee of lord Krishna, his work Narayaneeyam
is dedicated to Krishna, the deity of the temple in Guruvayoor. The great
work, a compilation of 1036 verses in various Sanskrit meters, deals with
the glories of Narayana, the Supreme Being who is the ayanam, the
final resting place of all jeevas and naras. The master piece
of Melpatthoor is a hymn of rare devotional fervor.
offers a tribute to this immortal piece. The Sanskrit verses reverberated;
ever charming stories of Krishna - his bala leela and rasa leela
enchanted the audience creating a mood of love and devotion for the ever-loved
Krishna. In traditional Bharatanatyam format the performance started with
Mallari and Shri vignarajan bhaje...
Going to the
very beginning, the recital begins with Krishna avatharam, focusing on
its purpose, destroyer of the evil: Poothana Moksham, Kaliya Mardhanam,
the event of Govardhanam, Kamsa Vadhom, Draupathi Vasthrakshepam and its
inevitable catastrophe are the milestones in Krishna's heroism. Yet, the
human aspect of Krishna's life is its endearing part.
recital, of one hour and thirty minutes, has dramatic elements and visual
treats. Chorus is effectively used to convey the moods of Nature - rain,
wind and stormy waves; the moods of people - work, joy, surprise and anger.
Tableaux are visual spectacles that punctuate the performance. Krishna
grows up in the enchanting environs of Gokul; charms the youth in Brindavan;
fulfills his mission in Mathura; plays his role in the war of Mahabharata;
becomes a deity remembered and revered to this day.
of the loving tale of Krishna's friendship with Kuchela needs special mention.
The childhood spent together in the wilderness at the home of their guru
is tenderly cast. The recital ended with a thillana showing devotees
thronging the temple in Guruvayoor to pay homage, like the artistes who
have come all the way from Mumbai.
Jayaraj is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to narthaki.com