- Vijay Shanker

March 29, 2016

Commemorating the 96th birth anniversary of Late Guru Acharya Parvati Kumar, Dr Sanddhya V. Pureccha and Sarfojiraje Bhosale Centre presented Smrutikusumanjali as a mark of tribute to the revered mentor. Senior disciples performed selected items from the Bharatanatyam repertoire at the mini P.L. Deshpande Auditorium on 27th February in Mumbai. The chief guest on the occasion was Guruji’s wife Sumati Parvati Kumar.

Acharya Parvati Kumar lived a complete life of dedication and left for heavenly abode at the grand old age of 94. He established the Tanjavur Nritya Shala in 1965 and is credited especially for his research and choreography of Marathi Nirupanas which led to the path breaking publication of ‘Tanjavur Nritya Prabanda’ published by Sahitya and Sanskriti Mandal, Maharashtra. The Nirupanas of Sarfoji Maharaj II (1777- 1832), a descendant of the Bhosale family of kings, has compositions in Marathi but set to Carnatic music. These were researched and choreographed in dance form by Acharya Parvati Kumar. He also researched and choreographed the Abhinaya Darpana in 1986 and reproduced it in dance format in 1992. He received several awards which included the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for choreography in 1981 but sadly never received the Padma Shri. He also choreographed for dance dramas, children's ballets and films.

The senior disciples besides Dr. Sanddhya Pureccha who performed included daughters of Pandit Venugopal Pillai, Jeroo Mulla, Mohan Rathi, Kirti Naik, Parul Sastri and Sunanda Shah.

Jeroo Mulla performed Alarippu in Pantuvarali ragam and daughters of Pandit Venugopal also performed the Alarippu, It was quite exciting to watch the only male student Mohan Rathi performing the Vasanta Jatiswaram to precision and fine execution of movements. He has established his own academy in Amaravati. Senior exponent and disciple Guru Kirti Naik’s rendering of the padam “Sakhi tu” was elevating, creating a lasting impression on the select gathering.

While Jeroo Mulla performed the popular “Krishna nee begane baro” dealing with the vatsalya bhava of mother Yasoda, Sunanda Shah performed the javali in Khamaj "Ye ra" wherein she pleads to her Lord to come soon as she is being pierced by Kamadeva's arrows. All the dancers performed with lot of sincerity and devotion.

Dr. Sanddhya Pureccha rendered the "chari bhedas" and "gati bhedas" as interpreted in the Ahinaya Darpana. The various gati bhedas pertaining to the swan, the peacock, deer, elephant, lion, snake, frog etc, the typical jump of the frog was well appreciated. Sanddhya remarked that "Guruji had said that if I am able to jump the same way at the age of fifty, I would appreciate it and I am fifty already!" At this point the audience cheered her. On the whole, it was a befitting tribute to a great mentor.

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