Follow us

Captivating Margam by Soundarya Igoor
- Satish Suri
Photos: Shandilya Srivatsa

February 10, 2019

The tall and statuesque Soundarya Igoor presented a margam under the aegis of Indian Council for Cultural Relations which was impressive both in terms of its content and artistic expression. Beginning with a traditional Pushpanjali followed by 'Soundarya Lahiri' of Adi Sankaracharya that explored the navarasas and its gamut of emotions and the many situations that cover these moods, the exploration was accentuated by the artist with graceful body movements and footwork, and dignified abhinaya.

The varnam she chose "Mohamana en meedu," a composition of Ponniah Pillai qualified with the choreography of Yamini Krishnamurthy was a refreshing take on the classic.The virahotkhanditha nayika besotted with love and feeling the pangs of separation from her Lord Tyagesa addresses him, "I see you in everything; I have been searching for you and it has left me exhausted.The torment of Madana is unbearable and it is no longer right on your part to delay our meeting any further." Delving into the depths of the varnam in all its intricacies, the exposition was laced with subtle erotic sentiments and the portrayal provided meaningful expression to the agony of separation.The soaring voice of Nandakumar Unnikrishnan on the vocals defined the ambience of the romantic mood and added flourish to the colourful palette of the dancer. Crisp footwork complimented the abhinaya in consonance with the rhythm of the composition. The thrust of sringara in the statement anubhogham seyya vaa as the nayika surrenders herself to the lord was evocatively captured. Elaborating on the agony of love (ini oru nimishamum yugam aaghude) and the torment of Manmatha (maaran kanaigal) ornamented a profound exposition. Besotted with the lord, the nayika says, "At such a beautiful time when the koel coos (kuyilgal koovude) when the season is in full bloom, how could you be so indifferent towards me?" The artist wove a rich tapestry of emotions leaving an indelible impression.

The javali "Sarasamulade enduku" choreographed by Bragha Bessell featured a newly married nayika who is taken aback by the amorous and open pranks of her husband in a public place. The nayika is conscious of what people may think and cautions her husband. The rendition in raga Kapi of the Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar composition was lively and absorbing. In the ashtapadi that followed, Kshana Madhuna Narayanam, Radha is angry and Krishna tries to cajole her in all sorts of ways to no avail. Finally, he repents and promises that he will not make her angry again and convinces her. The depth of the artist's abhinaya portrayed the intertwined sensual tone in the composition with vivid poignancy.

The concluding tillana in raga Tilang, a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman vindicated the virtuosity and artistic calibre of the dancer supported by excellent musicians - Nandakumar Unnikrishnan (vocal), Prasanna Kumar (nattuvangam), Karthik Satavalli (flute) and Srihari Rangaswamy (mridangam) - added value to the presentation.

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