Apoorva Noopura Dance Company in Bangalore
- Satish Suri
e-mail: satishism@yahoo.co.in 
Photos: Shandilya Srivatsa

January 19, 2016

A packed auditorium at The National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, provided the ideal platform for three dancers from the Apoorva Noopura Dance Company (New Jersey) to showcase their talents on 3rd January 2016.

Akhila Rao

Nitya Dhanraj

Akhila Rao, a disciple of Guru Narmada, her daughter Apoorva Rao and Nitya Dhanraj began the program with the traditional allarippu followed by Gambhira Gananayakam, a piece paying obeisance to Ganesha in raga Gambhiranata, setting the tone for a joyous and captivating beginning. The jatiswaram, a composition of Madurai N. Krishnan in raga Kanada, set forth melodious  swaras and intricately woven jathis. Crisp footwork characterised this presentation by Apoorva Rao.

The Natesa Kauthuvam  captivatingly presented by Nitya Dhanraj described the adornments, the magnificence and glory of Lord Nataraja as he dances to the primordial rhythm. A Gujarati shloka “Sata shrishti tandava rachaita” preceded the kauthuvam. The piece concluded with Nataraj Namana, a composition of Sri Ranga Sadguru of Ashtanga Yoga Vijnana Mandiram, Mysore.
The varnam “Nathanai azhaithu vaa sakhiye,” a composition of  T.S. Kalyanasundaram Pillai on Lord Muruga with beautiful lyrics set forth myriad sequences split among the three dancers with perfect synchronising of the jatis calibrated to a harmonious blend by Soundarya Igoor on the nattuvangam. However, the anguish of the nayika suffering from the pangs of separation from her Lord Swaminatha could have had more depth.

In the javali “Appudu manasu” that followed, Apoorva Rao explored the nayika’s turbulent emotions and her inability to take her eyes off her Lord Venkateswara as she pleads with her sakhi not to take her away from her lord. The choreography of Indira Kadambi to the composition of Patnam Subramananya Aiyar gave ample scope to Apoorva to show her artistry though her emotive skills need more practice to bring out the intensity of emotions.

“Bhavyayami Raghuramam,” the unique composition of Swati Tirunal, provided Akhila Rao to succinctly delineate the various episodes of Ramayana from birth to coronation portraying  the navarasa. Choreographed by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, under whom she had trained, the delineation incorporated karanas and charis and interesting use of the hip movement to enliven her presentation.
“Parullanna maata namma vaddu” was a dignified portrayal of a repentant herione by Nitya Dhanraj wherein the heroine requests the Lord that lives in Dharmapuri to righteously judge her behaviour. The artist howevever could not get the full measure of expression of the subtle emotions of the ‘other women.’ The final moments of the program was ushered in with a thillana composed by Dwaraki Krishnaswamy in raga Valachi dedicated to Goddess Bhavani.The trio got together in a display of artistic rhythmic patterns and postures.

Apoorva Rao

Nitya, Apoorva and Akhila

Excellent  support by the music ensemble with Debur Srivatsa on the vocals, Dr.Soundarya Igoor on the nattuvangam, Narsimhamurty on the flute and Ganesan on the mridangam provided vitality to the presentation. The program was presented by International Arts and Cultural Foundation.

Bangalore based Satish Suri is an avid dance rasika besides being a life member of the Music and Arts Society.