Margazhi festival of Takshashila Dance Academy
- Vijay Shanker
Photos courtesy: Gayatri Subramanian

February 6, 2016

The Margazhi festival - a  tribute to Gurus G.V. Ramani and Ranganayaki Ramani - organized by Takshashila Dance Academy at Marathi Sahitya  Sanskruti  Kala Mandal, supported by Kotak Mutual Fund, Webtel India, Progressive Builders, was celebrated with great aplomb on the 9th and 10th of Jan 2016 in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

Jhelum Paranjape

Praveen Kumar
As a part of community outreach program, Takshashila Dance Academy with the initiatives  of Rotarian President Siddhartha Tiwary and Anand Natarajan ensured the participation  of 50 school children and teachers in this  festival. The event commenced with an Odissi recital by accomplished exponent  Jhelum Paranjape (Tai) ably accompanied by her student Rupali Kadam. “Being part of this festival was tremendous and I loved the vibes from the audience,” said Jhelum who performed an Oriya abhinaya number that interpreted the game of dice between the Kauravas and the Pandavas and the subsequent Draupadi Vastraharanam, which was enacted with commendable abhinaya. The duo received fine orchestral support from Jatin Sahu for vocal, Rohan Dahale on mardala and Sarkar on violin.

Snigdha Menon and Sakshi Pujari, students of Gayatri Subramanian, enchanted the audience with their skilled renditions in their Bharatanatyam solos. Snigdha's number on the goddess, revealed facets of the goddess like Chamundeshwari, Mahisasuramardini, Chandrakala Dhari and Sarvakala nipuna. Snigdha can really go far if she continues to dance with the same amount of passion and zeal.

P. Praveen Kumar from Bangalore performed a traditional shabdham. The varnam was an uncommon piece culled from Krishna Shatanamavali stotra leaving the gathering spellbound. He followed it with a rare javali centred around the nayaka, concluding with a Devarnama, a vatsalya bhava song, depicting a father asking little Krishna to stay home.

Anand Satchidanandan, disciple of the Dhananjayans and recent recipient of ‘Nalanda Nritya Nipuna’ explored Bharatanatyam based on a popular ghazal “ranjish hi sahi” which was well received and appreciated.
Panchakanya, a quite popular theme among dancers, choreographed by Gayatri Subramanian stood out for many reasons. Well trained young students could portray these mature characters with great ease. The episodes were short, yet clear with the messages. The girls who played Sita and Ahalya showed very subtle nuances in their abhinaya which was good to watch. Nevertheless, some of the characters were given more importance and others underplayed.

The festival saw an overwhelming response with at least a 1000 people and each artist getting a full house. 

Vijay Shankar is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.