Scintillating recital by Tanya Saxena

December 28, 2015

One knows very well the stature of Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan of Ganesa Natyalaya, New Delhi, and her daughter-in-law Rama Vaidyanathan, the senior dancer. Therefore it was not a surprise when one witnessed the scintillating recital of Tanya Saxena, trained by both the gurus, on 26th December 2015 under the aegis of Rasika Ranjani Sabha which presented Anusham Arts Academy Festival in Chennai December festival.

Endowed with a face capable of registering emotions with absolute ease, Tanya beautifully started with a shloka of poet Kalidasa, commencing with the words “Vrindavana paritajya padam ekum na gachathe” meaning that Krishna's footprints never left Vrindavan, followed by Madhura Ashtakam “Adharam madhuram” composed by Vallabhacharya set to adi talam raised to immortal heights by M.S. Subbulakshmi.

Tanya next followed it up with the piece de resistance, the magnum opus of Maharaja Swati Thirunal, “Pannagendra Shayana” in Ragamalika and rupaka talam where the nayika is torn between her bhakti for her lord and the shringara she feels when she looks at his sweet face. Brilliant adavu patterns embellished by the bhava-laden vocal rendition of K. Venkateshwaran lifted the piece to sublime heights. Tanya was at her best when she did the nrithya for the Todi line “Yaminee samvesaya twam kaama-mavalokayami” meaning “this night time enhances the mood for romance” and also for the Surutti line “Patala bimba sadrusa! paavana vimaladhara” meaning “your lips are pure and sweet like the bimba fruit” where Tanya added a pinch of romance for both the verses and rightly so. The jathis were executed with absolute finesse.

Tanya followed the central piece with a padam from Arunachala Kavirayar – “Epadi manam tunindado” from Raamanatakam in raaga Husseini and misra chapu talam where Sita on hearing the decision of her Lord Rama to leave for vanvaasa asks him, “You affirmed at the time of marriage that you would never leave me alone. Even Mother Earth will not be able to bear our separation. Am I such a burden that you cannot take me with you? Is this the sign of a true King?”  The abhinaya for this padam was very convincing and Tanya did full justice to it. The fitting finale was Shivoham – “Jeevaha Shivaha Shivo Jeevaha” exploring the Advaita philosophy for the search for the Divine within, a verse from the Skanda Purana in ragam Charukesi and adi talam.

The accompanying artists need a special mention. Venkateshwaran's rendition is always full of bhava. The percussion was by Arun Kumar which was very effective and was further ornamented by violin by Viju Anand, flute by Rajat Prasanna and veena by Shyamala Bhaskar. Karaikudi Shivakumar wielded the cymbals creditably. With more exposure Tanya Saxena will go places and she will be an artist to watch out for.