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Captivating Nrithyollasa 60
- Dr. M. Surya Prasad

May 8, 2019

Ananya deserves to be commended for hosting monthly music and dance festivals thus providing opportunities for aspiring artistes. Ananya Nrithyollasa 60 held at Seva Sadan in Bangalore featured young and seasoned dancers who were able to rise to the occasion and sincerely display their best talents. The curtain rose with a polished Bharatanatyam recital by Divya Bhat. In the exposition of Innum en manam, a popular Lalgudi Jayaraman pada varnam in Charukesi raga, the dancer was highly inspired. The abhinaya of the devotee chiding Krishna for feigning innocence about his/her depth of feelings and not responding was as fervent in emotive depth as were the nritta passages in rhythmic brilliance. The charanam rendered in madhyama kala was marked by excellent timing, agility and strong footwork. Divya's innocuous abhinaya of child Krishna who is afraid of Gumma, won the hearts of the rasikas in the presentation of Purandaradasa's padam Gummana kareyadire (ragamalika).

Deepa Raghavan

Anusha Sridhar

Deepa Raghavan, a prized student of Guru Kanaka Srinivasan, did full justice to her guru and the medium. Varnam in ragamalika by Dandayudhapani Pillai served as proof of her artistic skill. The Navaraga varnam 'Swamiyai azhaithodi vaa...' is a challenging piece with immense demands on the dancer, both physically and in terms of abhinaya. Deepa did justice to both aspects. Her technique had dignity and depth. There was a laudable maturity and confidence, as the graceful performer's presentations reflected a clear flow of thought and emotions. There were no shades of grey in Deepa's portrayal of the popular ashtapadi Yahi Madhava (Sindhubhairavi) wherein Radha takes Krishna to task alleging that he was in the company of another woman.

Divya Bhat and K Roopa

The concluding Kathak duet by Divya Bhat and K. Roopa was a fitting finale. Trained at the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, their movements and moods synchronized perfectly. The duet opened with Mahadev, an obeisance to Lord Shiva. The greatness of the lord in various forms was sketched on the basis of a few shlokas drawn from Ishopanishad. This was continued in the next Dhrupad (Kedar and Bhairav ragas) composed by Gundecha Brothers and energetically choreographed by Madhu Nataraj. A Bindadin thumri in Desh raga, Kaahe rokath dagar pyare was explored artistically to depict the Gopika pleading with Krishna to let her go and fetch water. An annoyed Gopika even lodges her complaint against him with Yashoda. Guru Maya Rao's ingenious contribution to Kathak repertoire, introduction of Prabandh, chaturang etc, was refreshed by the rendition of a Prabandh by Altaf Husain Khan (with a pen name of Ramadas) set to raga Kedar and trital. The beauty of the nritta of Kathak got unveiled.

A praiseworthy presence of mind, clever arrangement of the compositions for presentation, neat and tidy stage craft, confidence and polished technique of Bharatanatyam et al captivated the rasikas when young Anusha Sridhar, a multi-talented disciple of Guru Revathi Narasimhan performed at Sri Raghavendra Mutt auditorium, Jayanagar. As the performance was arranged as part of Pattabhisheka Mahotsava, Anusha rightly dedicated her recital for the rendition of Purandara krithis and krithis by Sri Raghavendra. The regular opening items of Bharatanatyam repertoire were followed by Indu enage Govinda (Bhairavi), Ananda Tandaveshwara and others. At the most obvious level, her angular and expansive vocabulary of movements caught the eyes. Their effectiveness, their complicated trajectory with perpendiculars, semicircles, horizontal lines, diagonals and circles and combinations of each in every sequence were enthralling. She created an unforgettable aesthetic experience.

Dr. M. Surya Prasad is a tri-lingual music and dance critic of Karnataka, scholar, organizer, educationist, researcher and translator.