Breathtaking performance by Shankar Kandasamy
- Satish Suri, Bangalore

January 20, 2013

Shankar Kandasamy presented a solo Bharatanatyam margam under the aegis of V.R.C. Academy of Music and Dance on 9th January at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore.

The breathtaking performance started with a pushpanjali, a composition of Madurai Muralidharan which set the tone for the display of his virtuosity and skill. The central piece, the varnam, a composition of Andavan  Picchai’s “Nee manamirangi” in Lathangi and  adi talam, had Shankar Kandasamy in full flow, marked by his individual characteristic and flawless approach. Immaculate nritta, geometry and line punctuated the performance. The sanchari bhavas, the emancipation of the ego of Avvaiyyar, the killing of the deceitful Surapadma, the juxtaposition of the vatsalya and shringara bhava was succinctly displayed. The second half of the varnam explored the attributes of Lord Subrahmanya, the birth of Valli and her final union with the lord. The jatis and teermanams were skillfully handled by Prasanna on the nattuvangam.

This was followed by a padam Nandanar Charitram. Here the agony is seen of the devotee Nandanar, who comes to the village temple to get a darshan of Lord Shiva. Confronted by the massive bull which blocks his way he pleads with the lord to move the bull a little so that he can have a darshan. His ecstasy knows no bounds as the lord grants his request. The dasya bhava and the emotive prowess the artiste displayed in depicting the bull were commendable.

The second padam Shankar chose was “Theruvil varano,” a composition of Muthu Thandavar. His opening remarks on introducing this padam was that he was doing a shringara  padam for the first time in his life. Bhakti is true love. Highest form of shringara is bhakti. His abhinaya skills came to the fore as he depicted the mughda nayika imagining the several ways the Lord could arrive. He concluded his performance with a tillanna in ragam Mohana, roopaka talam, choreographed by Adyar Lakshman. As the sweat poured out of his sinews, the audience stood up to give him a standing ovation.

He was ably supported by Nandakumar Unnikrishnan on vocal, V.R. Chandrasekhar on the mridangam, Jayaram on the flute and Prasanna on the nattuvangam. The music ensemble embellished the performance with grace and harmony.

Satish Suri has been an ardent follower of dance and music for more than 40 years, starting with being on  the committee of the International Music and Arts Society founded by Vijaya Devi, sister of the Late Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar and now presently is treasurer of World Dance Alliance Karnataka Chapter. He has presented several artistes, both dancers and musicians, over the last 40 years.