July 9, 2009
The first part
of the program consisted of beginner students dancing Naandi, Pushpanjali
and Jatiswara. It was followed by nritta and nrithya numbers performed
by students who had advanced learning. These items included Anthahpura
Geethe composed by poet DV Gundappa, "Gajavadana beduve" and "Hari smarane
maado" composed by Purandaradasa and a popular javali, "Madhuranagarilo."
The costumes and jewelry for all the dances were put together very well
and enhanced the viewing experience.
The program finale was a dance drama based on Rukminisha Vijaya. This is a devotional masterpiece in Kannada composed by Saint Vadiraja in the 15th century. Bhramari and her students presented briefly the sections leading up to the wedding of Sri Krishna and Rukmini. These included Rukmini writing a letter to Krishna expressing her love for him and pleading with him to rescue her from a forced marriage, Krishna vanquishing Shishupala, Rukmi and others who were opposed to Rukmini and Krishna's union, preparations for the wedding and the grand wedding itself. The theatrical elements in these sequences were well presented aided by recorded conversation between characters. Bhramari excelled in portraying the character of Rukmini. Her depiction of distraught Rukmini praying to Krishna was spot on. The scene where the groom's side and the bride’s side exchange playful taunts was enjoyable to watch. That a rare masterpiece was chosen as the high point of the program was appreciated by the audiences.
Bhramari Shivaprakash, a disciple of Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy and Prof. Udhyavara Madhava Acharya is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer from northern New Jersey.