Visesha Kala Poshakam 2016
Photos courtesy: The Mylapore Trio

February 20, 2016

The ‘Mylapore Trio’ - Amarnath, Surendranath, Aparna - and Sugathan of Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation conducted the 10th year ‘Visesha Kala Poshakam Utsav’ festival of dance from 27th to 31st January 2016 in Chennai. This natya utsav was in commemoration of Rukmini Devi’s 112th birth anniversary. Dancers from across India gave solo and group performances in a confluence of various dance forms.

Sowmya Bose

Anjali Balan

Aparna Sastry

Ameera Patankar

On the first day, Sowmya Bose from Bhubaneswar gave a good Odissi recital followed by a scintillating group Bharatanatyam performance by Pragya Shukla, Swati Jakhmola and Bhavani Gopinath (Kalakshetra alumni). Second day started with a graceful Mohiniattam performance by Anjali Balan from Kerala Kalamandalam, accompanied by an excellent orchestra. Then the students of Jigyasa Giri from Devaniya presented a dynamic group Kathak performance.

Third day of the utsav triggered with a fine Bharatanatyam performance by Aparna Sastry from Bangalore. This was followed by an excellent Kuchipudi group recital by Hima Bindu Kanoj and her disciples of Muvva-Nritya Raaga Nigamam from Hyderabad. Fourth day started with a neat Kuchipudi performance by Sindhuja from Hyderabad. Next was a vibrant Odissi group presentation by Madhulita Mohapatra and Nrityantar Dance Ensemble from Bangalore. On the final day, Ameera Patankar from Pune presented a dazzling Kathak recital followed by Kerala Nadanagal by Gayatri Balagurunathan and disciples of Krishnanjali, Chennai.


Madhulita Mohapatra and group

The highlight of the natya utsav was ‘Pancha Nrithyam,’ a special dance show by Foundation Secretary M. Sugathan, a multi faceted dancer, who presented a flavour of five different dance forms on five days - Kuchipudi, Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathakali and Bharatanatyam. His dances were captivating. On the inaugural day, in his Kuchipudi concert, he danced Tharangam (dancing on a brass plate) balancing a pot on his head. His Odissi dance was graceful, with delicate moves and subtle gestures. His Mohiniattam performance in female attire left the audience spellbound. Only females perform this dance form and Sugathan is the only male Mohiniattam performer in stree vesham in Chennai. His Kathakali presentation in female character and costume as Damayanti was again remarkable. The Kathakali costumes are very expensive even to hire and not available in Chennai, hence he himself created them with his own innovation and imagination. On the final day, his Bharatanatyam recital was filled with excellent abhinaya and bhava, for Papanasam Sivan’s “Kaana kankodi vendum” on Lord Kapaleeswara and Meera Bhajan describing Draupadi Vastrabaranam and Gajendra Moksham was poignant. He ended the natya utsav with the ever popular and famous Natabhairavi thillana on Rukmini Devi and Kalakshetra, as a dedication to her.

Sugathan in Pancha Nrithyam

On this occasion 165 children from kids to teens, who participated in 20 competitions based on the theme ‘Marghazhi in Madras’ under three categories - Performing Arts, Fine Arts, Academic Arts - in the 14th year ‘Marghazhi Bala Utsavam’ received their prizes, medals, certificates and special prizes from seasoned performers on all the days.