The glory of Vazhuvoor margam by Dhivya S Pillai
- Satish Suri
Photos: Prithvi Krishna

April 22, 2016

Dhivya Pillai, a student of Jayakamala Pandiyan (of the Vazhuvoor lineage) presented a margam on 2nd April at A.D.A.Rangamandira, Bangalore. Her opening Pushpanjali in Amrithavarshini captivated the audience with her grace, the fluidity of hand and body movements and precision.

She followed it with a devi kriti “Kanchadalayakshi,” a composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar in raga Kamalamanohari depicting the love between a devotee and the Goddess Kamakshi.The artist beautifully conveyed the beauty of the goddess and the adoration and love the devotee has for the goddess.

Dhivya continued her performance with a varnam “Sri Krishna Kamala natho,” a composition of Tirumale Srinivas in Reetigowla and adi tala. The depiction was a sterling performance of confident and vivacious movements and fluid expressions.The varnam introduces Krishna in an interesting way from the various avatars to the manifestation of the Viswaroopa Darshan during the Geetaopadesam. Dhivya’s performance of high energy, was characterised by the exquisite choreography, precise and aesthetic structure of pure dance and the Vazhuvoor jathis tempered by the nattuvangam of Jayakamala Pandiyan. Episodes such as Poothana’s annihilation, destruction of Shakatasura, Devaki Nandana depicting Krishna being carried away by Vasudeva after his birth in Kamsa’s prison, jalakreeda, Krishna playing with the gopis, were elucidated as sancharis and brought to life eloquently by the dancer. The  charanam “Gopa gopi swaro gopi surya koti samaprabha” featured elaborate choreography that highlighted complex rhythmic permutations and combinations and the fast pace was accentuated with exacting footwork and sequences that displayed precision and stamina attesting to extensive training and tutelage under her guru.

The rhythmic sections enhanced with off beats and teasing pauses were especially exciting with the play of K.V.Gopinath on the mridangam, Lakshman Kumar on morsing, Mahesh Swamy on the flute, Suresh Namboodri on the violin, soulful rendering by Nandakumar on the vocals and Jayakamala Pandiyan on the nattuvangam to provide a quintessential  experience. The effervescence and youthful vitality of the dancer enriched the performance.

The energetic piece was followed by a Khestrayya padam “Choodare” in Sahana raga  depicting an abhisarika nayika in which a group of women gossip about the audacity of a married woman from a respectable family who walks out boldly to meet her lover. The delineation evocatively presented the mood and promiscuity of the nayika for Muvvagopala enriched by the sweetness of the raga and its bhava.

The dancer continued with an ashthapadi “Sakhi he kesi mathana mudaram” in Shuddha Sarangi. Here the lovelorn Radha describes to her friend about her romantic interludes with Krishna with the mood changing from bashfullones to joy at the prathama samagama.The evocative interpretation and sensitive abhinaya needed more depth and maturity to appreciate the subtle nuances. More performing oportunities will hone the aspirant’s talents and impart greater depth and maturity.

Dhivya concluded with a thillana in raga Madhuvanti composed by Lalgudi  Jayaraman which was punctuated with expressive nritta and meaningful use of the stage space.

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