Bharatanatyam dancer Parshwanath Upadhye has carved a distinct segment for himself. He has a superb sense of timing and is extraordinarily agile. Furthermore, he’s a consummate dramatist who leaves no stone unturned so as to add some spice to his classical efficiency.
One, nonetheless, might agree and disagree together with his strategies. He offered the composition (‘Ninaindodi vanden’, ragamalika, talamalika, Ok. Ponniah Pillai), at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, in an unbroken stream, devoid of markers, similar to arudis for theermanams and thattu-mettu sequences. This underlined his timing and focus and offered a surprising ‘ah’ second. The thattu mettu completed, and within the subsequent beat the jathi started. When that ended, the track rendition started on the following beat. With out a repetitive pallavi or charanam, the piece had the added complication of seven talas and ragas.
He opened with ‘Sri chamundeshwari palayamam’ (Bilahari, Adi, Mysore Vasudevachar), which was spectacular for its melody and Parshwanath’s deep araimandi and fleet-footedness.
Taking liberties with sahithya meanings, even when it mirrored related feelings is a particular no-no. Within the saptatalaragamalika piece that spoke of a nayika craving for Shiva’s consideration, Parshwanath equated her craving to Ravana’s as a Shiva bhakta.
He stuffed the sahitya together with his ideas — ‘I’m pondering of you; I am going to the forest, I search right here and there. I determine the mountain the place you might be; (Smiling) You’ll include me and goddess Parvathi will get indignant.’ And once more in ‘Manathil..’, ‘Shiva is meditating, I’ll do arathi, ring the bell, play the drums and the conch loudly; he’s not heeding any of this.’ It is a novel method, fairly theatrical, and pretty impactful, although it may change into too cluttered and not using a sthayi to deepen the emotion.
Parshwanath’s footwork was gentle, the overused heels not permitting for onerous stamping. That is true of most busy dancers. Parshwanath made up for it together with his agility and adaptability — his steady nattadavu lunges had been proof of this.
The construction of the composition was totally different — it’s not a varnam, nor a keerthanam, simply seven sections of swara, sahitya and swara passages. The title of the raga and tala function within the sahitya as effectively. It’s a uncommon piece belonging to the Thanjavur Quartet household, written by Kittappa Pillai’s father. Parshwanath had inserted some rhythmic theermanams in between. Carried out along with the swara passages, it was lots of dancing.
Once more the ‘Choodare’ padam (Sahana, Mishra Chapu, Kshetrayya) which is often offered as girls gossiping a few married lady going to fulfill Muvvagopala, uncaring of what others might say, was circled. The protagonist is a jobless male, who eyes a lady and proposes to her; he doesn’t heed her ‘No’ and is slapped for his advances. It was humorous and well-caricatured, although fairly distant from the unique context. Parshwanath had taken benefit of the literal which means, whereas omitting the final charanam that mentions Muvva Gopala.
Parshwanath signed off with a peppy Kuntalavarali thillana (Adi, M. Balamuralikrishna). His excessive power and theatrics can appeal the sternest of critics.