by Karnataka Kala Sri Dr.M.Surya Prasad 

February 2001

Rashmi Nagaraj, a beautiful disciple of Sudha Nagaraj of Aradhana School of Bharatanatya danced confidently and gave a commendable account of her talent. Though one felt that she needs to acquire polish in her footwork, have a perfect and flawless ardha mandali and be more expressive and sensitive in abhinaya, Rashmi did well in negotiating the traditional agenda of her Bharatanatya recital held at Ravindra Kalakshetra. 

Neatly accompanied on vocal by Srivatsa and an orchestra comprising her Guru Sudha Nagaraj, Madhusudhan, Shankar Raman, Gurumurthy and Prasannakumar on nattuvangam, violin, veena, mridanga and morsing respectively, Rashmi began her Bharatanatya with a Pushpanjali. Absence of alarippu was conspicuous. She paid her obeisance to Lord Ganesha on the basis of the popular Muthuswamy Dikshitar-krithi in Nata raga ‘Maha Ganapathim’. She gave a promising account of her control over footwork, laya and nritta while portraying a jatiswara in Arabhi raga and aditala. 
Composition of some good adavus with swaras and interesting nadais and muktayees were attractive. Rashmi was at home in dealing with them. The anchor piece of her recital was a tana varna(Navaragamalika varna) in nine ragas addressed to Lord Venkateshwara. The nayika admires the greatness of the Lord and requests Him to accept her. For a while, she seemed to be tired but she could recoup soon and the nritta, nrithya and abhinaya portions came off vibrantly. Her mukhabhinaya was mobile making quick sorties between different emotions. Her nritta too, despite a 
missed cue in the tillana ( Revathi raga, aditala: Madurai Krishnan) showed the perfect throw of arms, etching of diagonals, circles and moon-crescents which marked the number. Rashmi graphically presented the traits of the Goddess Sri Chamundeshwari with the lyrical support drawn from Mysore K.Vasudevacharya’s krithi in Bilahari raga. Her histrionic skill made a Pada ( Huseni raga; depiction of a khandita nayika), a Devaranama (Purandaradasa, Saveri raga) and Ashtapadi (Yaman Kalyani, Jayadeva) a visual treat indeed. A good show, all round. Rashmi’s fiance Sachin did a professional compering.