Encouraging young talent
- Vijay Shanker
July 10, 2019
On behalf of Guru G.V. Ramani Natya Kala Foundation, Navi Mumbai based Bharatanatyam exponent and mentor Guru Gayatri Subrahmanyam organised the Navapallava Festival to encourage young talent on 22nd June at the hall of Yoga Vidya Niketan in Vashi. The two talented young dancers who performed were Gururaju for Kuchipudi and Sanika Deodhar for Kathak.
Navapallava is an initiative taken by some of the eminent classical dance gurus, to provide a dignified platform to upcoming and promising young dancers as sponsors are not easily available, and platforms are rare and few in number. Gayatri Subrahmanyam has come forward to organise such a festival on a regular basis in order to provide more platforms to deserving dancers. The dancers managed to perform with minimum lighting and sound facility and without air-conditioning; nevertheless they did their best, which shows their devotion towards the art forms.
The program commenced with the Kuchipudi performance by young and dynamic dancer Gururaju from Bangalore. A disciple of renowned Kuchipudi exponent Vyjayanti Kashi, Gururaju has already performed in several productions of Shambhavi School of Dance, with performances both in India and abroad,
Gururaju commenced his brief performance with invocation to the elephant-headed god Ganapati and followed it with a beautiful number on Lord Shiva, "Om Namah Shivaya" that incorporated the Sandhya Tandava and the Ananda Tandava while describing the glory of Mahadeva. Gururaju dances with technical perfection and fine clarity of movements. He concluded his performance with Neelamegha Sareera, an extract from Narayana Teertha's Krishna Leela Tarangini, that describes the blue god and his varied pranks. The highlight of this item is the dance on the rim of the brass plate. The dancer has to maintain perfect rhythm and balance too which is not an easy task. He performed with ease and perfection. With more intensity pertaining to abhinaya, Gururaju can definitely be among the main rank of dancers.
Sanika Deodhar is a charming Kathak dancer and a disciple of Rujuta Soman, who is the disciple of the veteran Rohini Bhate from Pune. Attired in an elegant red costume, one felt as if a doll was coming to life as a dancer. With Durga stuti, the dancer incorporated the benevolent and the virile aspect of the goddess. Sanika performed neel taal in seven and a half beats especially choreographed by late Rohini Bhate. Also known as "Sade saati" (7 and a half beats), it is symbolic to life as everyone has to go through difficult times in life. This and other pure dance sequences revealed her command over footwork and intricate rhythm. In the concluding item, Sanika performed a number that comprised the Tarana, Thumri and Sargam in Marwa raag, the thumri Yeri kaise jawo mein jal bharana that depicts Radha as she is confronted by Krishna and is unable to move further in order to fetch water. Sanika's expressions were more suggestive; she needs to be more expressive, the feelings and emotions should be more significant for a better rasanubhava. Sanika is definitely a dancer to look out for.
Vijay Shanker is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.