delights with its own December season
January 10, 2010
opened with Pushpanjali and an Annamacharya krithi "Vandevasudevam" performed
by Navia Natarajan. A gifted dancer, Navia's high energy, crisp lines,
and sophisticated abhinaya were wonderful. Next, the dancer presented a
javali, and ended with the self-choreographed, "Ananda Natanaduvar Thillai."
The last piece was the highlight of Navia's performance, revealing her
exceptional talent in presenting technical sophistication coupled with
an artistic depth that can fully engage an audience. Navia Natarajan is
definitely one to watch in 2010.
are many Kuchipudi performances to be seen in the US, it is easy to see
that quality is often rather sadly sidelined. It was therefore a treat
to see a dancer showing the form to its best potential. Samidha Satyam
is a talented Kuchipudi performer that possesses the rigorous stamina,
flexibility and grace that the dance form demands. That she possesses these
qualities and adds the appearance of effortlessness and finesse makes her
a "must-see." Satyam chose to present Kishore Mosalikanti's choreography,
known for taking the form in new directions. She began with "Shiva Shiva
Bhava Bhava" a tarangam that moves the item away from themes on Krishna.
Satyam sparkled in her depiction of the dynamic and mighty river Ganga,
who will eventually be trapped in Shiva's hair. The piece ended with the
hallmark of a tarangam, the dance on the brass plate, and Satyam showed
no signs of tiring despite the demanding and required energy for the piece.
Her next and final item was a Balamurali Krishna Thillana (Beehag raagam).
Again, Satyam did not compromise in any aspect, and the result was a high
speed, dynamic combination of nritta and nritya. Satyam is a rare performer
and an asset to Northern California's dance scene.
In fact the greatest criticism of the evening, was the lack of any meaningful, informed or charismatic introduction to any of the performances. Yuva Bharati would do well to invite a speaker who could educate and excite audiences with an introduction not read directly from a piece of paper. However, despite its small operation, Yuva Bharati is quite rightly building a formidable reputation in the US, and with their rich online archive, the non-profit is an asset to any music and dance lover.
is an independent researcher and educator in theatre and performance studies.
She is based in Brooklyn, New York.