Bala Devi Chandrashekar performs at Umayalpuram
- Prof. K Balaraman (Retd.)

August 25, 2006

The Annual Sita Kalyanam Mahotsavam was conducted with great devotion and piety at Umayalpuram Sri Rama Mandiram during the month of July. This annual function was well attended by many stalwarts in the field of music and dance. Over the last 4 years the festival has become a "must attend" on the calendar of increasing number of devotees and performers.

Bala Devi Chandrashekar’s Bharata Nrityam performance was one of the highlights of the Mahotsavam. The guest of Honor was Pujyashree Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.

The theme of Bala's performance revolved around 'Bhakti Rasa' - nectar of devotion through dance. The recital commenced with Bala dancing for Dr. Balamurali Krishna's Pushpanjali in Arabhi. The item was brisk, bringing out the variety of tala and the execution of intricate adavus with grace and sparkle.

The next item "Sri Rama" in Bhairavi ragam composed by Meenakshi Subrahmanyam (mother of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam) was the highlight of the evening. Following this was the Sanjeevani Ashtapathi Priye Charusheele. Bala's performance brought out the sweet, clever and pacifying words spoken by Mura to Radha with true devotion and reflected the richness of her guru Padma Subrahmanyam's choreography
The third item was 'Om Namoh! Narayana!'- a composition of Ambujam Krishna. Bala conjured the presence of Lord Narayana in front of the audience, accentuating her expertise and in depth understanding of the subject. For the sanchari, both Prahalada Charithram and Sri Narayana Bhattathri's story was enacted. The soul stirring depiction bought tears into the eyes of many in the audience.

In the final song "Baro Krishnayya" by saint Kanakadasa, Bala's depiction of Yashoda beckoning child Krishna with vatsalya taking his hand and walking along before scooping him up in her arms was remarkable. As she brought to life Krishna's image, turning to give darshan to Kanakadasa, the audience was spellbound.

Bala's performance uplifted the Umayalpuram rasikas to a higher level of spiritual consciousness.