Praveen Kumar revisited outdated compositions with new interpretations

Praveen Kumar at The Music Academy’s margazhi festival, in January 2023.

Praveen Kumar at The Music Academy’s margazhi competition, in January 2023.
| Photograph Credit score: RAGU R

The Pandemic lockdown led Bharatanatyam dancer Praveen Kumar to revisit outdated compositions to realize new insights. His recital commenced with ‘Ka va va’ (Papanasam Sivan; Varali), an invocation to Skanda of Pazhanimalai. He got here up with brisk imageries that described the epithets related to Muruga — the son of Shiva, who as a toddler is seen seated on Parvati’s lap, is armed with a spear, wedded to Valli and Devayani, and is the bestower of the sacred mantra. The concluding visible was of devotees travelling to Pazhani carrying kavadi.

The varnam, Thuraiyur Rajagopala Sarma’s ‘Ninne nammi na nu ra’ (Atana), which was a part of Praveen’s arangetram, checked out Krishna from totally different views — buddy, lover, mum or dad and protector. Flawlessly executed jathis had been largely set in chatusra nadai (as within the outdated model), whereas the abhinaya portrayed vignettes of Krishna in a refreshing method. ‘Chinni krishna ra ra’, the devotees name Krishna, the brother of Balarama, who eats mud and opens his mouth to disclose the universe to his mom. Praveen has imbibed from his gurus Narmada and Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar an built-in strategy to Bharatanatyam — his impeccable motion mixing properly with interpretative dance.

Praveen Kumar’s performance at The Music Academy’s Margazhi festival, on January 04, 2023.

Praveen Kumar’s efficiency at The Music Academy’s Margazhi competition, on January 04, 2023.
| Photograph Credit score:
RAGU R

The post-varnam, purely abhinaya, a part of the recital started with Marimutha Pillai’s composition ‘Ethai kandu ichhai kondai magale’ in Kalyani, a ninda stuti, set to Rupaka tala. Whereas the phrases don’t in anyway point out the gender of the individual talking, the lyric is historically understood to signify the phrases of an exasperated mom telling her daughter Parvati what she noticed in Shiva to lose her coronary heart to him. Praveen appeared on the phrases from the male perspective — of a father addressing the daughter. Drawing her consideration to Shiva’s idiosyncrasies, he says, “Is he not the one who swallowed poison and with the fireplace of a 3rd eye burnt to ashes Manmatha? His bizarre costume consists of an ash-smeared physique coated in tiger pores and skin, matted locks wherein Ganga is lodged, and a snake for a garland. He additionally tells her how she is used to travelling in consolation in a palanquin, whereas Shiva’s mode of transport is a bull. The dancer concluded his convincing portrayal of an irate father, who, seeing his phrases having little influence on his daughter, stalks out with the expletive,  “Suttha paitiyakkaran” (mad individual).

The javali, ‘Oh my beautiful Lalana’, a Karur Shivaramiah composition (Karaharapriya) with its mixture of English and Tamil sahitya, was an unlikely alternative by the conservative Praveen, who portrayed a besotted nayak attempting to woo an detached nayika. Lalgudi Jayaraman’s thillana introduced a change of temper.

Praveen was supported by a crew of skilled musicians — D.S. Srivatsa (vocal), D.V. Prasanna Kumar (nattuvangam), Harsha Samaga (mridangam), Mahesh Swamy (flute), and Gopal Venkataraman (veena).

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