Pancha Prakrithi by Sugathan Mohandass
February 14, 2017
The "Mylapore Trio" Amarnath, Surendranath and Aparna with Sugathan and members of Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation conducted the 11th year Visesha Kala Poshakam Utsav from 27th to 31st January 2017 at Tag-P.S. Dakshinamurthi Auditorium, Chennai. This natya utsav was in commemoration of Rajasekharan and Sumukhi's 100th birth anniversary. Dancers from across India gave solo and group performances in Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam.
The festival featured "Pancha Prakriti" thematic Bharatanatyam by Foundation secretary Sugathan Mohandass, about five elements of nature depicting five colours on five days. He described the five aspects of nature along with the stories of Pancha Bhootha Sthalams. On the inaugural day he began with Prithvi representing green nature and Mother Earth - Kanchi Sthalam in which he described the divine wedding of lord Ekambareeswarar and goddess Kamakshi. On the second evening, he described Appu, blue representing water - Thiruvanaikaval Sthalam in which he narrated about rivers like Ganges, Kaveri and Yamuna and the special uchikaala pooja performed by the priest in the guise of the goddess. He used a blue veil as a prop to represent bluish water which was very apt.
On the third evening, Sugathan presented the importance of Vaayu, white and colourless, representing air - Kalahasthi Sthalam about the story of Kannappa Nayanar, a hunter prince who was devoted to the lord of the shrine. He used a white veil as a prop to signify the colourless air. On the fourth day he narrated the importance of Thee, red representing fire – Thiruvannamalai Sthalam. He described the greatness of the sacred hill, lord Arunachaleeswarar and Apithakuchalambal. On the final day he presented his theme Aakaasam, black representing ether/space – Chidambaram Sthalam, wherein he performed the cosmic dance of Lord Nataraja and Sivagama Sundari. He also narrated the dance competition between the lord and Thillai Kali, the importance of Arudra Darshan and the first darshan to Nandanaar.
Sugathan performed to a live orchestra for the kritis composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar - vocal by Jayanthi Santhosh, mridangam by Venkat Subramanian, violin by Ananthulal. All his dances were soul stirring with bhakthi. His costumes and jewelry on the 5 days suitably represented the five elements of nature - green, blue, white, red and black. Raja Mahadevan from Germany/ Italy, and Lars Fredricksson who hails from Sweden and lives like a Mylaporean during the season, presented the Certificate of Appreciation to him.