Captivating recitals

October 18, 2015

Katyayani Gupta, disciple of Guru Kamalini Nagarajan Dutt (disciple of Thanjavoor Lakshmi Kantham and Sikkil Ramaswami Pillai) presented a captivating recital in RK Swamy Hall, Chennai, under the auspices of Gana Mukunda Priya on 19th September 2015.
Commencing the recital with alarippu in ragam Nattai and Vinayakar Stuthi “Munnavane yanai mugathavane mukti nalam shollavane,” she followed it up with jathiswaram in Ragamalika set to mishrachapu tala by the Tanjore Quartet. This was followed by the next item in a traditional margam, Shabdham, which is invariably in mishrachapu, on Lord Shiva, “Tillaiambalam tannile natam saithidum Natarajan.”
The central piece was the evergreen Ananda Bhairavi varnam, again from Tanjore Quartet, “Sakhiye nee indha velayil jaalam seiyaade,” in which Katyayani was able to fully, adequately demonstrate her proficiency in both nritta, nritya and natya segments. The sancharis were very convincingly conveyed, the highlight being Sri Rajagopalaswamy in Teppam being portrayed lucidly and earlier, the heroine coaxing the Sakhi with decorations, pottu, flowers etc asking her to convey her love to Sri Rajagopalaswamy.
In the commencing line of the charanam “Paangaana mayile adhiga mayyalaal madhi mayangi poovaale Manmadanai thodavum,” the dancer effectively portrayed ten different shapes of the peacock and increasingly lustful arrows of Manmadha. Katyayani then took up a keerthana in ragam Arabhi composed by Thanjavoor Marimuthu Pillai, “Yenna thunive naan bhayapadaamal undan inayadi paniven aiyya” where the devotee expressed her fear in entering the temple of Lord Shiva, with the images of Bhootham, Nandi, the snakes etc. on Lord Shiva, at the same time expressing her reverence for Rishis and Munis being part of all those symbols. The concluding piece was a thillana in ragam Cenchurutti, which is most popular in dance and music genre.
Venkateshwaran on the vocal with his bhaava laden music, with effective percussion of Ramamurthy Ganeshan, violin support by Anirup and flute by G. Raghuraman further added colour to the recital. Dr. S. Vasudevan wielded the cymbals. Senior artistes such as Lakshmi Vishwanathan, Sundari teacher of Kalakshetra, Sikkil Vasanthakumari and Sankari Balasubramaniam graced the occasion and blessed the artiste. Katyayani Gupta shows all the promise of shaping into a very mature senior artist in the years to come under the able tutelage of her Guru Kamalini Dutt.

Sumana Santhanam
Sumana Santhanam, a budding Bharatanatyam dancer with an excellent stage presence, disciple of the great teacher Guru K.J. Sarasa, and Srekala Bharath, gave a very pleasing recital under the aegis of Oothukkadu Venkatakavi Trust, at TAG-Dakshinamurthi Auditorium, Chennai, on Oct. 4, 2015. Commencing the recital with “Ananda Narthana Ganapathim bhaavaye” in Naattai, Sumana immediately gave proof of her mettle in nritta and nritya, before she took up the main item. The piece-de-resistance was “Marakatha manimaya” in ragam Aarabhi. One is generally familiar with this piece in the Kuchipudi genre, wherein the dancer dances on the rim of a brass plate, to the lyric “Kanakamanimaya noopura charana.” However, Srekala Bharath very beautifully choreographed this item for Bharatanatyam. The sancharis relating to the birth of Krishna, Kuchela’s episode, Kalinga Narthana and Draupadi Maanasamrakshanam were portrayed by Sumana in a neat manner, drawing applause from the audience repeatedly. The execution of the jathis, the briskness and confidence with which the dancer performed were the highlights of the performance.

The next item “Bhajasva Tripurasundareem” in Nadanamakriya, was an excellent illustration of the poet’s devotion towards the Mother Goddess. “Raaman perumai solla tharamo” in Naattakurinji, was yet another piece which drew the attention of the audience. The concluding thillana in Sindhubhairavi was a fitting finale to the entire performance.

Sumana shows ample promise of blossoming into a very mature artiste in the years to come, with sound and vigorous training imparted to her by both her gurus. It is pertinent to point out that Srekala as a performing guru has carved a niche for herself. Under her able stewardship, several disciples are being trained effectively. Sumana also is an integral part of this group. She is indeed an artiste to watch out for.

Vocal by Chithrambari Krishnakumar, mridangam by Dhananjayan and violin by Shikhamani (who comes from a great musical lineage), were assets to the recital. Srekala Bharath on the cymbals was a treat to watch and held the attention of the audience throughout the performance.
The presence of renowned vocalists, the Bombay Sisters, added colour to the program.