‘Agre Pashyami’: A high quality mix of verse and visuals

The one centesimal dasakam of Narayana Bhattadri’s Narayaneeyam is a big one; the ailing writer is blessed with a imaginative and prescient of Krishna. He breaks into the verse ‘Agre Pashyami’, translating as, ‘As I see in entrance of me’, to provide a keshadi pada varnanam, head-to-toe description of what he noticed. 

‘Agre Pashyami’ was additionally the title of the mega dance theatre manufacturing primarily based on the Narayaneeyam, conceptualised and introduced by scholar Dushyanth Sridhar and choreographed by veteran Bharatanatyam instructor Anitha Guha. It was a vibrant, dynamic, devotional spectacle, with experience and end not usually seen. It had artfully tailor-made music by Rajkumar Bharathi, soundscape design by Sai Shravanam, costumes and theermanams by Anitha and carried out in excellent sync by gifted dancers from her Bharathanjali and different colleges. 

Thematic dance performance ‘Agre Pashyami’  presented at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.

Thematic dance efficiency ‘Agre Pashyami’ introduced at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.
| Picture Credit score:
VEDHAN M

As per the again story Narayaneeyam — the struggling Bhattadri was suggested by Thunchaththu Ezuthachan, a non secular Malayalam litterateur, to ‘begin with the fish’, and consequently writes of the dasavataras, ‘Agre’ introduced this episode in addition to some avataras comparable to Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Rama and Krishna.

Each section was layered with the music, the lyrics, the costumes and in some cases, the native dance model. The eye to element and the seamless performances surpassed her earlier displays. Anitha’s finesse appears to get higher each time. 

Thematic dance performance ‘Agre Pashyami’  presented at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.

Thematic dance efficiency ‘Agre Pashyami’ introduced at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.
| Picture Credit score:
VEDHAN M

Although there was sufficient theatrics, the tone remained devotional. In addition to the lyrics, having a Venkateshwara framed in an arch within the background, as a witness to the goings on, and presenting numerous types of Vishnu at one other level underlined the intent.

Guruvayoor, the place the place Narayaneeyam was written, was not forgotten. ‘Agre’ opened with a prayer (taken from Krishnageeti, the textual content for Krishnattam Kali, adopted by unfamiliar syllables ‘…rin ta ta dina…’ (P.R. Venkatasubramanian) for the glimpse of the Guruvayoor-specific temple dance drama model of Krishnattam Kali, ending with a Mallari, with regards to the ‘Seeveli’ procession within the Guruvayoor temple, with elephants and other people adorned within the customary white and gold. 

Creation of Narayaneeyam

The story of Poonthanam and Bhattadri, when the latter refused to edit the Malayalam devotional work of the previous and Bhattadri’s struggling, his assembly with Ezuthachan that led to the creation of Narayaneeyam was portrayed clearly, the picturisation taking off the place the commentary ended.

Thematic dance performance ‘Agre Pashyami’  presented at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.

Thematic dance efficiency ‘Agre Pashyami’ introduced at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, in February 2023.
| Picture Credit score:
VEDHAN M

‘Vadavarayai matthaki Vasugiyai ….’ (Silappadhikaram) in chatusra heralded the samudra manthan. Kurma, the tortoise avatara of Vishnu, crawls throughout the stage to the accompaniment of Jayadeva’s Dasavatara shloka. The sunshine-footed Shiva seems quickly after to the chanting of ‘Namaste Rudramanyava..’. He performs a rigorous jathi, drinks the kalakootam poison and is stopped by Parvathi. The sleek Lakshmi seems to a verse from Narayaneeyam and a solkattu, ‘Thanga silambu..’ (Venkatasubramanian) with the lilting kalyanam scene in Devagandharam (Purandaradasa’s ‘Ksheerabdi’), Desh and Hamsanandi.

The stage buzzed with the protagonists and narrators, every transferring in excellent sync. Their correct timing and good normal of dance have been notable. In the meantime the Kurma avatara just isn’t over — Vishnu is now centre stage along with his numerous types (Ranganatha, Venkatesa, Vittala, Guruvayurappa) with particular chants or songs for every.

Detailed portrayal

This degree of detailing continued for the opposite episodes. The manufacturing remained seamless with intelligent sound design and wonderful timing. Often, there was a spot in narration, as in Bhoodevi’s recollection of her glad previous simply after her abduction in Varaha avatara episode. The sudden change from unhappiness to happiness was complicated. 

There have been playful moments too comparable to when Narada seems and tells Hiranyaksha about Vishnu saving Bhoodevi within the Varaha episode. He mocks on the asura, ‘Kashtam kashtam…’ The agitated asura goes, ‘dingdingding thaita tham’. Such situation-enhancing jathis have been rendered with sound results as properly. Anitha maybe is a dramatist first after which a visualiser.

Most visually dramatic portrayal that night was of the Nrisimha avatara pose. Completed with split-second timing, the onerous working dancers and the lighting professional (Murugan) deserve credit score. Bhattadri sitting on the aspect loved the episodes and added authenticity to ‘Agre Pashyami.’

The melodious ‘Neela megha shyama kodandarama..’ (Yamuna Kalyani) and Hanuman’s escapades have been the highlights of Rama avatara episode, as have been the totally different aspects of Krishna introduced. Anitha let unfastened her creativeness to current Kalinga Narthana, utilizing Mohiniyattam within the rasa kreeda sequence. The 2-hour present ended with Bhattadri’s ‘Agre pashyami’ second, the second of the imaginative and prescient. With many Krishnas, the adage of ‘Krishna is in every single place you see’ got here house strongly.

‘Agre Pashyami’ might have been a visible and aural deal with, however for the ear-deafening quantity within the auditorium. 

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