Padma Subrahmanyam’s ‘Krishnaya Tubhyam Namaha’, compiled, tuned and conceptualised by her in 1974, was unconventional and endearing. The viewers noticed a theatrical picturisation of Krishna’s life flash earlier than their eyes.
Carrying on the torch of the Padma Subrahmanyam-Shyamala Balakrishnan, are the dancer-musician mixture Mahati Kannan and Gayatri Kannan.
It’s formidable to observe within the footsteps of a legend. However Padma’s grand-niece Mahati doesn’t appear to hold that burden — she’s a pure. She is swish, beat-perfect, and she or he’s nice with fleeting nuances.
‘Krishnaya…’ was a fantastic mosaic of much-loved tales and deft enactments. It introduced completely different sides of Krishna, and opened with the story of Krishna’s start. Mahati as Vasudeva, afraid and chilly, enters the waters of a Yamuna in spate, carrying Krishna on his head and praying for the kid’s security.
A memorable scene is of Yashoda with the kid Krishna, and her joys and frustrations — when he makes a fuss to eat, she stuffs the meals into his mouth, which he promptly spits out. She is placing Krishna to mattress and rocks the cradle patiently; her arms start to ache and she or he does it utilizing one arm at a time. Krishna remains to be wide-eyed. A fed up Yashoda mutters to herself, and goes to sleep with one arm on the newborn.
Some might name this theatrics, however it was completed with finesse and couched in lovely melodies and lyrics from Andal Pasurams ‘Oruthi maganai’ and ‘Pillai Thamizh’, that gave it a classical base.
Not that Mahati has grow to be a mature dancer in a single day; she’s going to good it with expertise, however she reveals a uncommon sensitivity in greedy and portraying human nature.
‘Krishnaya…’ performs with completely different speeds within the rhythmic jathis. What’s uncommon is the change in sollus used and the tone, to swimsuit the characterisations. Within the ‘Kalinga Narthana’ episode, with verses from the Narayaneeyam, Padma had re-purposed angaharas (sequences with karanas) from historic texts such because the Bharatarnava.
The sequence for the struggle appeared to have stronger sollus, whereas the final one after the struggle had softer appears like, ‘kin kina’ akin to the sounds made by his anklets. Gayatri’s versatility with the rise and fall of speeds and intonation in nattuvangam and singing is likely one of the causes for the manufacturing’s success.
Mahati’s agility was on show by the present, be it the serpentine actions or the Udvrita karana, very like Shiva’s Urdhva Tandava pose.
From the Bhagavatham was the episode of the ‘heroic husband’ Krishna. The music (Hamir Kalyani) was one of the evocative, and the scene drenched with romance — Rukmini asks a Brahmin to take a letter to Krishna, so he’ll rescue her from a wedding she doesn’t need. A blushing Rukmini sits all the way down to compose the letter… ‘Achyuta’, the endearment she makes use of to deal with Krishna, was used as a punctuating phrase, and its timing was good every time round.
The specialists aiding the orchestra have been: Vaishnavi Anand (vocal), Nagai P. Sriram (mridangam), Bombay V. Anand (violin), Chittoor Patanjali (flute), Kannan Balakrishnan (veena, shuddha maddalam).