9: A festival that's going national
- Mysore B
What started as
a monthly dance festival, providing platforms for the dancers from Karnataka
state, Sai Arts International's Sai Nrutyotsava has in a short period of
nine months acquired the color of national festival with international
touch to it. One of the factors that determine the character is the participating
artiste’s home base. Series nine, on 1st February 2010, at Seva Sadan,
Bangalore, witnessed in its five segments, three artists from the state,
one from New Delhi and one from Washington, DC, USA.
Rajateesh who runs Natyasaraswathi Kuchipudi Dance Center at Bangalore,
presented Sowmyashree and Acharya Siddalingappa Swamy in the opening segment
of the festival, in Kuchipudi. While Sowmyashree invoked Ganesha to Hamsadhwani
raga, Acharya did his version of poorvaranga and they together performed
a portion of "Parijatapaharanam" of sage Siddendra Yogi. The episode of
Sathyabhama sending message to Krishna through Madhavi was enacted.
Bharatanatyam exponent based and trained in Delhi, offered obeisance to
Ganesha in raga Gowla set to adi tala. Deepa chose to perform next, Goswamy
Tulsidas bhajan "Thumak Chalat Ramachandra." Her unhurried pace and confident
execution set a good mood for the evening. The kavya "Prathama samagamalajjitaya"
of Jayadeva, from his work Geeta Govinda, was performed with restrain and
elegance. Krishna disrobing Radha and planting kisses on her cheek while
he lay on her breasts, was enacted with such subtlety that the erotic transcended
into divine love. With controlled movements and measured breath, she established
that Bharatanatyam to her is not just geometrical exercise but truly a
medium of spiritual expression and experience. She truly is poetry in motion.
Siddalingappa and Sowmyashree
five minutes, Dr. Janaki Rangarajan from Washington DC, encapsulated the
Bharatanatyam margam with such pace and vibrancy that the moments sped
away leaving the audience seeking more of the ecstasy of watching her dance.
The prose taken from Arunagirinathar's Tiruppugazh in praise of Lord
Subrahmanya was the base for her Alarippu in Sankeerna Jaathi tala
set to raga Malayamarutha. The Jathiswaram composition of the Tanjore
Quartet in Ragamalika and misra chapu tala was her next presentation followed
by Oothukaadu Venkatasubbaiyer’s keerthana "Thaaye Yasodha" in raga Todi
and adi tala. Before concluding with a Thillana in raga Gambheera Nattai
set to adi tala, a composition of Oothukaadu Venkatasubbaiyer, Janaki performed
Vaitheeswarankoil Subburama Iyer’s Padam "Idhai Vida" in raga Saveri, roopaka
tala. Janaki’s dance was like the pleasant running brook whose movements
meandered amidst the rocks of rhythm making the spectators sitting on its
bank, savor the flowing energy within placidity. To sum it up, Janaki’s
performance was a show stealer like that of her mentor and guru, Dr. Padma
Kumar made the smart choice of presenting a Varnam in Bharatanatyam.
Sowmya’s seamless segment of 25 minutes was the beautiful result of guru
Nirupama Rajendra’s training. The dancer fully justified the concept of
Varnam, in perfectly blending, in equal measures, both nrutta and nrutya
in graduated tempo. The emotional content of the lyrics matched well with
the buoyancy of the technical dancing. The chari and karna that was interspersed
was a delight to watch, just for the reason that it was fleeting than dwelling,
making the execution seem effortless. The Varnam that was delineated was
"Swami naan undan adimaiyendrum ulagamellam ariyume."
The evening concluded
with Kavyashree and Divya Chandran, disciples of Suparna Venkatesh, performing
Bharatanatyam. Sandwiched between perfunctionary Pushpanjali and Mangalam
was Chinnayya Pillai’s Telugu Javali "Muttavaddura" in raga Saveri, tala
adi performed by Kavyashree and Subbaramiah‘s Tamil Padam "Adhuvum
solluvaal" performed by Divya Chandran. Both the dancers succeeded in translating
the lyrics into expression and drew audience attention.
Kavyashree (sitting) & Divya
B Nagaraj is the Artistic Director of Articulate, that promotes performing
arts and takes social responsibility of the visually challenged.