July 9, 2010
After ten and three masa nrutyarpana, SAI (Sai Arts International), Bangalore, presented the 14th Sai Nrityotsava, with a difference. A difference that brought freshness by introduction of natya, before the nrutya took over the rangasthala, at Seva Sadan, Bangalore on 1st of July 2010
Articulate joins hands with SAI to support upcoming choreographers to present mini ballets. While Articulate provides the concept, music, costumes, sets, etc, SAI provides dancers and artistic guidance, to those choreographers who wish to acid-test their creativity on stage.
Natya that evoked a sense of reverence to plants around us: 'Tulasi' presented by Articulate and SAI
Young choreographer Somashekar Chudanath presented the puranic story behind the holy Tulasi. The burden on him unfolded into a beauty that evoked in the audience, a sense of reverence to this plant. The limited time of 20 minutes packed a brisk flow of sequence unraveling the lesser known story in the medium of Bharatanatyam. On being asked by the gods to vanquish King Jalandhara, who had become powerful by the blessings of Lord Vishnu himself, the Lord seduced queen Vrinda by impersonating as her beloved husband knowing well that the strength of Jalandhara was in the virtue of his wife Vrinda. As atonement, Lakshmi promised Vrinda that she will be the one to carry her in the form of Tulasi plant in her earthy bosoms and water her faithfully every day, thus uniting Jalandhara, who was born in the waters from the sweat of Maheshwara, with tulasi born in her soil. Vishnu declared his preference to Tulasi leaves as a mark of her devotion and her sacrifice, over all other flowers, when offered in His worship. Somashekar with Pawan, Nishant, Sharath, Sindhu, Pushya, Anagha, Sriraksha, Suchita, Anjana, Ashita, Deepti, Anusha and Nandaki, were befittingly cast in their roles.
Disciple of Anuradha Vikranth, Bhavya presented “Mahadeva Shiva Shambho,” a Kriti in Revathi raga, Adi tala after the perfunctionary Pushpanjali in Bowli raga, Adi tala and before the concluding Devarnama of Purandara Dasa. Bhavya's rhythmic movement across the stage and the high kicks done to symbolize the energy of Shiva, surprised the audience with her agility despite her large frame. A good grounding in the nuances of the dance form goes wasted when packed in a frame that does no justice to the visual aesthetics.
The graceful sway in the soothing breeze, of the delicate creeper, anchored to the strong tree; the rhythmic laps of the ocean waves on the shores of time, was reflected in the Pushpanjali number of Jyotsna Jagannathan. Her abhinaya that blossomed right from the word go, in her re-creation of the angry mood of Radha, Krishna and the Gopalas and Gopikas of Gokula to a Marathi composition interspersed between two verses of Amaru, was uplifting. She was a perfect blend of nritta and nrutya. Guru A Lakshman must feel proud of this disciple.
Grooming an offspring of a dancer draws expectations that are high. Guru P Praveen Kumar successfully presented his disciple Shishira Shastry in whose dance was felt the freshness of the Vasantha season. There is abundant promise in the performance of this young dancer who is the new star on the Bangalore dance horizon. His lines were neat, his angles were precise. His footsteps were unfaltering and his expression showcased the feelings of the heart. He chose to exhibit his artistry in a Thodeya Mangalam by Annamacharya, a bhajan of Sant Tulasidas, and Dr. Balamurali Krishna's tillana composition in Raga Brindavani.
Vidhya Subramanian's (Cupertino, USA) student Kavita Thirumalai performed four dance numbers, the last of which was a tillana in raga Dhanushree showcasing her nritta. The devotional rasa in her Amrutavarshini raga based on Muthuswamy Dikshitar's composition invoking the Mother Goddess in the form of rain, addressing her as Anandamrutha Varshini, was elevating. Though her Tamil padam “Unnai Toodu Anupinen” saw her ability to transcend from the emotions of an angered nayika to the amorous conduct of the sakhi and the adventures of the nayaka, it was the total confidence that was exhibited in the contrast described by Adi Shankaracharya in his ode to Ardhanareeshwara, that saw the expertise of the artist.