4 younger Bharatanatyam dancers put their greatest foot ahead

The plethora of younger expertise on the lookout for efficiency alternatives makes one marvel if cultural organisations can dwell as much as the spiralling demand for platforms. Therefore, it was attention-grabbing to observe some younger dancers on the Music Academy’s dance competition.

Shweta Prachande owes her glorious method with evocative abhinaya to years of an built-in strategy to coaching — other than studying Bharatanatyam beneath Priyadarsini Govind and abhinaya veteran Kalanidhi Narayanan, it additionally contains Kalaripayattu, together with dance research. After a pushpanjali in Gambhira Nattai and Adi tala as curtain-raiser, she went on to current the Thanjavur Quartet varnam ‘Sakhiye inda velaiyil’ in Anandabhairavi set to Adi tala. Following Sruti Sagar’s melodious flute overture, and Binu Venugopal’s vocal help, the varnam was a delight, portraying the nayika’s love for Rajagopala with the conch, who resides in Rajanagar and cajoling the sakhi to entreat the Lord to return to her. Eyes filled with craving following the Lord in procession, describing at size the greatness of the Lord, together with how he saved an elephant (in between exhibiting the jumbo feasting on a leafy department pulled off a tree) from the jaws of a crocodile — have been all a part of the dancer’s interpretative imagery. The jatis rendered to nattuvangam by Aadith Seshadri and mridangam help by Siva Prasad mixed precision and impeccable method.

After such a shifting presentation, Panchali Sapatham, was theatrical, and got here as fairly a disappointment. Music was by Rajkumar Bharati however the usage of extreme sound like derisive laughter greeting the ignominy of a Kaurava prince slipping on the ground of the Pandava palace, mistaking its sheen for a water physique, the sport of cube, Draupadi’s shaming, and at last, the Kurukshetra battle with the ultimate scene of Draupadi’s hair being anointed with slain Dushasan’s blood, appeared to lose sight of the truth that dance aesthetic is about subtlety. And for a dancer with a lot expertise, the place is the necessity to resort to extreme drama? The thillana in Behag was a mix of high quality dance artistry and poetry with strains from Tagore’s ‘Mama citte nitte nritte’ on the philosophy of existence, with its everlasting rhythm of life and loss of life.

Shashwati Garai Ghosh performing at The Music Academy’s 2023 Dance Festival

Shashwati Garai Ghosh acting at The Music Academy’s 2023 Dance Pageant
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Shashwati Garai Ghosh, considered one of Sharmila Biswas’ most gifted college students, has lastly been given a slot that she richly deserves. Her ‘Ekatra’, exploring new dimensions by way of the Odissi method, started with Jayadeva’s ‘Srita kamala kucha mandala dhruta kundala’ within the benedictory Mangalacharan, rendered in a method through which the devotees sing at Puri for Jagannath – the slayer of Kaliya, Madhu and Mura and Naraka, and Ravana, in his avatara as Rama. The pallavi in Shudh Kalyan, with music by Shrijan Chatterjee and rhythm set by Bijay Kumar Barik, noticed nritta elaboration, characterised by a really feel for the temper of the raag. There’s a deep sense of internalisation even within the nritta segments that one experiences in Shaswati’s Odissi.

The concluding shringara piece, based mostly on Srila Rupa Goswami’s ‘Ujjvala-Neelamani’, was choreographed by Sharmila Biswas. Goswami’s shringar connotation tasks all worshippers as feminine, eager for the one Purush (the Supreme). And he believed that the ultimate stage of Oneness with this Purush will be attained solely after experiencing Shantarati (a thoughts completely absorbed within the beloved one), Dasyarati (serving the beloved one like a servant), Sakhyarati (being on equal phrases like an in depth good friend) and Vatsalyarati (being fiercely protecting of the beloved one like a mom is for her youngster). In spite of everything these states, ‘Drishyate madhure rase’, one begins to expertise madhura rasa of shringar (the ultimate state of merging with the beloved one). Whereas one can have variations of opinion on the readability of the introductory explanations, Shashwati’s dance based mostly on Herman Khuntia’s music composition, was properly introduced.

Harinie Jeevitha at The Music Academy’s 2023 Dance Festival

Harinie Jeevitha at The Music Academy’s 2023 Dance Pageant
| Photograph Credit score:
S. Thanthoni

There was a sizeable viewers on the morning recital by Harinie Jeevitha, a school at her guru Sheela Unnikrishnan’s dance college, Sridevi Nrityalaya. She started with ‘Sorkattu’ by Shivanandam of the Thanjavur Quartet, set to Thodi raga and Tisra Eka tala, an invocation to Shiva based mostly on the Marga Bandhu stotram. Launched by a brief Sankarabharanam alapana on the veena by Anjani Srinivasan, the Papanasam Sivan varnam ‘Karunai seidida’ in its interpretation of the devotee’s love for Kapaleeswarar (‘kaadal un meedu meerude’), noticed the dancer describe the beloved’s coronary heart beat like a drum, leap like a deer and be washed by waves of pleasure. Harinie is a proficientdancer however the choreography was so closely full of imageries and solfa syllables within the jatis that one felt a leisurely strategy would have been extra evocative.

The pure abhinaya half post-varnam comprised an Ashtapadi ‘Keshi mathanamudaram’ whereby Radha beseeching her sakhi to fetch Krishna reminisces the intimate moments with Krishna and the way he made her overcome shyness. Whereas the dancer had sought some steering from Bragha Bessell, the abhinaya professional, the remedy wanted extra introspection. The Vasudevachar thillana in Surutti made for a high quality conclusion.

Bhavajan Kumar performing at The Music Academy’s Margazhi dance festival, January 2023.

Bhavajan Kumar acting at The Music Academy’s Margazhi dance competition, January 2023.
| Photograph Credit score:
S. Thanthoni

Bhavajan Kumar, groomed beneath Leela Samson, is a steadily evolving dancer. Proper from the beginning with Varaguna Pandyan’s Virutham ‘Anjel endra’ in Ragamalika, accompanied by singer Sweta Prasad’s bhav-filled and tuneful vocal help, the dance interpretation at a leisurely tempo took the efficiency to a distinct aircraft. Given the penchant for pace in audiences immediately, it’s uncommon to see a dancer current a chauka kala pada varnam ‘Sarasa ninnu ippudu’ by Ponniah (a forerunner to Swati Tirunal’s ‘Sumasayaka’) in Karnataka Kapi (Rupakam). Woven around the time-honoured varnam formulation of the nayika’s love for Brihadeeshwara, right here the Lord is depicted in his accoutrements of tiger pores and skin and snake round his neck conquering the inimical forces despatched to defeat him. The arudis, the musicality of the teermanams with their sollukattus, Sheejith Krishna’s nattuvangam, the dancer’s rendition and the music moved collectively seamlessly. This made for a singular expertise.

Bhavajan’s abhinaya has conviction, rising from a serene base. This was proved within the Sarangapani lyric ‘Urukke’ in Devagandhari, depicting the brash hero being chided for considering he might get the heroine to return to him simply by a click on of his fingers, when even the nice Rama needed to break Shiva’s bow earlier than successful Sita for his bride. Subsequent got here Dharmapuri Subbarayar’s javali ‘Smarasundaranguni sari evvare’ with the swadheenapatika’s boast that none might evaluate along with her love in faithfulness and readiness to do her slightest bidding. The recital ended on a excessive be aware with the ‘Kalinga Nartana’, an Oothukadu Venkata Kavi Tillana in Gambhira Nattai.

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