- Series 8
January 7, 2010
Arushi Nagaraj and Gopala Krishna, disciples of Sanjay Shantaram and Shama
Sanjay, commenced the first segment of the festival with an invocatory
number, danced to Adi tala, addressing Lord Ganesha. The use of Raga Bouli
to offer obeisance to Soorya and extolling the virtues of dance through
shlokas from the Natya Shastra, warmed up the stage. Sajini, also from
the portals of Sanjay and Shama’s school of dance, performed an abhinaya
number "Shendru Varuvein Yendru," depicting a young woman, who remained
bashful in the presence of her husband, and now longs for his return. The
trio who gave the Pushpanjali concluded their presentation with a Thillana
in Raga Sumanesharanjani. While the three exhibited crispness and confidence,
Sajini missed out on the shyness of the nayika.
Geneva born, trained by her mother/guru Sujatha Venkatesh, Divya Venkatesh opened her recital with an ode to the Sun God. Sooryashtakam extolled His attributes, His brilliance that lights up the worlds, His radiance that casts away the darkness of ignorance. The salutation was danced to the shlokas rendered in poetic recitation, interspersed with virile nritta signifying his profound energy. Saint Tyagaraja bowed to Shankara, who is the embodiment of Nada, who delights in the musical notes, who commands even "Kaala" the time, in his composition "Nada Tanumanisham" in Chittaranjani raga, to which Divya danced with intense involvement. Her control over the laya, her precise geometrical movement across the space in her Thillana that praised Lord Krishna, was indeed a delight.
a lively teen, whose eyes sparkled with a passion towards the hoary art
of Indian dance, offered pranams to mother earth, who is Lakshmi herself
and sought her pardon for every footstep that she struck her with, when
she danced. Her Pushpamanjari also offered her Namana to Ganapathy as the
guardian of the stage, to Shiva the cosmic dancer and to Saraswathi at
whose feet one seeks knowledge. The nritta Jatiswaram in raga Kalyani was
presented with movements that flowed effortlessly. The Thillana in Desh
raga, Khandatriputa tala was mercurial.
Guru Prakash Yadagudde in UK at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sita Pratap
sought the blessings of Lord Ganesha in her opening act in Raga Gambheera
Nattai-Khandachapu tala before she rendered a Muthuswamy Dikshitar's composition
"Hiranmayim Lakshmim." A javali in Kannada "Sako Ninna Sneha" was her concluding
number. For Sita, her smile was the only asset that the prekshaka could
of the evening was truly a grand one. Bereft of nritta exuding high energy,
keeping aside classic acrobatics, Houston-Mumbai based Sunanda Nair took
the audience into her world of emotions. After a short perfunctionary prayer
to Ganesha, she dived straight and deep into the eight classic situations
in love. Her translations of Bharatamuni's description of the state of
mind of Ashta Nayikas, into movement and expressions left the audience
spellbound. Her instant transition from one emotion to another was transcending.
In fact with each bhava, she evoked the corresponding rasas in the hearts
of the onlookers. Her abhinaya, while she meandered through Radha's sublime
feelings for Krishna, justified her Guru Dr. Kanaka Rele's choreography
and interpretation of Jayadeva. Display through the medium of dance, the
spiritual intercourse between Radha and Krishna, Atma and the Paramathma,
was truly awe-inspiring. Sunanda Nair's Mohiniattam, the dance of the enchantress,
was nothing less than enchanting.
Nagaraj is the Artistic Director of Articulate, that promotes performing
arts and takes social responsibility of the visually challenged.