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Youth in Dance
- Aparna Vinod
Photos courtesy: Padmalaya

July 20, 2017

Bangalore based Padmalaya Dance Foundation headed by Guru Padma Murali showcased a range of promising youth in the field of Bharatanatyam in their annual ‘Youth in Dance’ series, which commenced with short presentations of Radhika Shetty and Karuna Sagari on topics, ‘beyond performing space’ and ‘organic teaching methodology’ respectively.

Aninditha Ashok, Poshini, Ranjitha Kumar

Tejaswi Kiran

Sharada Srinivasan

The dance segment opened with a Bharatanatyam recital of Tejaswi Kiran of Mangalore, a disciple of Lakshmi Gururaj. The pushpanjali in raga Hamsanada and suryakriti was a befitting beginning to the recital. This was followed by Trimata Kavutwam in which the charm and poise of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvathi was extolled. She moved on to a kriti in Behag, “Kahi udarike Madhava” in which the poet asks Krishna, who is he waiting for? Is it Radha, Rukmini or Jampavathi? Tejaswi looked more at ease with abhinaya, which accentuates her flair for the same. Tejaswi, a representative of a smaller town in the series definitely marked her presence through a different choreographic approach by her guru, which she sincerely attempted executing to her best.

The variety displayed in the Youth in Dance series, owes substantially to the selection process designed by Padma Murali, which emphasizes on providing performance opportunities across several cities, towns and villages. Next on line was the Padmalaya ensemble which consisted of four very committed students of the institution. Sharada Srinivasan presented a Ganesha kriti “Ananda nadamidum Gajamukhane” in raga Abhogi which she executed with precision and grace. The presentation that followed was by a group of three students of Padma Murali. Ranjitha, Aninditha and Poshini did justice to the item ‘Navarasa nayaki’ choreographed by their guru. Their neat lines and communicative abhinaya substantiated the impeccable training. ‘Navarasa nayaki’ was a pleasant breeze though the nine rasas of Devi, quoting nine relevant contexts. Meenakshi kalyanam, Kumarasambhavam and Mahishasuravadham were impressively executed. The fluency and confidence that suffused their presentation could certainly be attributed to a clear understanding of the techniques and nuances of their medium which would certainly be enhanced with more experience and opportunities in the years to come.

Aruna Bhargavi, a senior disciple of Guru Rema Venugopalan, marked the beginning of her concert with a Jathiswaram in Vrindavani by flautist Mahesh. Absence of vocals in swara and presence of sahitya posed an absolute contradiction to the format of jathiswaram we have seen so far. Aruna did complete justice to the dynamics of nritta through her crisp footwork, bouncy leaps and well-drawn lines which seemed her comfort zone. In the varnam “Velanidam,” we could see a yearning nayika coxing her sakhi to bring him to her. Aruna was quite communicative in her abhinaya, although one could feel that she has very much emphasized on the aspect of restraint that reflected throughout her presentation. She has certainly mastered the technique of using the body and its lines gracefully, which made her a delight to watch.

Aruna Bhargavi

Dhivya Pillai

The last presentation of the day was by Dhivya Pillai, a disciple of R.L.V. Anand and Jayakamala Pandyan. She presented the very popular varnam, “Angayar kanni” with utmost clarity of nritta and abhinaya. The internalization of the item by the artist was evident in her poignant and chiseled expressions. There was a pleasant stroke of devotion and poise that ran through the length of her presentation. With more experience and opportunities coming her way, Divya is certainly going to make a mark in the field of Bharatanatyam.

Youth in Dance, organized by Guru Padma Murali, fueled by the thought of presenting youth purely based on their talent and commitment, yet again proved that there is a very active and promising line of artists in the making for a brighter future.