Bharathanjali - A lecture-demonstration in Bharathanatyam 
by Usha Rajagopal, Durham, North Carolina 
  

January 2003 

Jayanthi Balachandran, a disciple of Chitra Visweswaran, presented a lecture-demonstration on Bharathanatyam on January 12th 2003 at the North Carolina Museum of History. She gave a scintillating performance to a packed audience of over 400 people. Jayanthi has already established herself as a choreographer / director.  

Her recent production  Andal Kalyanam - a dance ballet, which  served as a fund raiser for the local temple  in the Triangle area was a huge success.

 
Her solo performance has been much awaited.  The ambience in the museum theatre was beautifully recreated with decor that represented any dance auditorium in India and was designed and prepared by Vijayalakshmi Balachandran.  
  
Jayanthi began her performance with  a rhythmic item  - an Anjali and  Ananda Nartana Ganapathim Bhavaye. This was followed by a selected  portion of a varnam titled Naadanai Azhaithu Vaa in Kambodhi.  Jayanthi is an effective public speaker and educator. She used her talent very well during the performance by taking time to explain and demonstrate key parts of the item to a largely western audience.  This along with her command of the language and  use of humor helped  in engaging the audience who enjoyed every one of her pieces. The Varnam was followed by a padam in Attana ragam, titled Ariven Ayya. This was truly the highlight of the performance. 

Jayanthi's abhinaya was excellent and she moved the audience through her portrayal of a woman deeply hurt by her husband's rendezvous with another woman. She concluded her presentation with a Thillana in Hindolam. Jayanthi kept her audience spellbound throughout the  performance.  We look forward to her future recitals and productions..  
  
Usha Rajagopal is a free-lance writer and art connoisseur living in Durham, North Carolina. She holds a Masters degree in Social Studies from the University of Maryland.  Her forte is the narration and enactment of various legends from Hindu mythology to children of various ages and cultural backgrounds.