Chandrashekar: A chip off the old block
A proud product of Padma Subrahmanyam's tutelage, Bala Devi graciously mentioned her illustrious guru's name several times. Gifted with a tall and slender figure, the typical movements appropriately called Bharata Nrittam, created by her guru were most elegant to watch and added a special twist to the beautiful bends and curves.
Bala Devi's faultless Powerpoint presentation on the topic displayed thorough research on the subject. To a number of people in the audience, not overly familiar technical and academic details, that ancient text Natya Shastra was also called Natya Veda or the fifth Veda came as an eye opener. Another detail was that the Natya Shastra was intended for all varnas that is for all people, speaking all kinds of languages and was not the property of the practitioners; indeed it is a universal text and what we now know are through elaborate commentaries on it by Abhinava Gupta, Kohala and other interpreters. Bala also pointed out and demonstrated the key and defining movements of all the classical dance schools, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathakali and Odissi explaining the various bhangis and mandalas.
The performance was super. I loved Jatayu Moksham and the folk tune for "Brahmam okate." Very good invention to depict joyous abandon and total bhakti.