In connection with the 40th anniversary of Noopura Academy of Indian dances, Mangaluru, Sulochana V Bhat had organised a Bharathanatyam performance by students of the Bengaluru-based Rasika Arts Foundation. The nimble footwork, fleeting facial expressions, graceful body language and the beautiful co-ordination among the performers spoke highly of the training they had received from gurus Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran.
Right from the ‘Pushpanjali’ to the concluding thillana, there was not a minute of slackness in the presentation, most of which was devoted to Muruga. ‘Subramanya Kavuthuvam’ in Shanmukhapriya, composed by Madurai R Muralidharan, brought out the valour of the lord. The dancers gave life to the rich lyrical beauty of Muthuswamy Dikshithar’s ‘Sadaachalaeshwaram’. ‘Saenapathae Paalayamaam’ in Pantuvarali was powerful, with sprightly jathis interwoven with the six letters ‘Sha Ra Va Na Bha Va’. Humour dominated in the sanchari for the episode of Muruga’s courtship with Valli, where he is in the guise of an old man. The naughtiness displayed by Shivaranjani was enjoyable while Rasika’s (Valli) angry reaction was amusing.
The popular padam ‘Kanda naal mudhalaay’ by N.S. Chidambaram in Madhuvanthi stood out for its novel choreography and the excellent emotive skills of the dancers. Two friends open up their hearts to their common friend separately without realising that both are in love with the same Muruga. Unfortunately, the sakhi has also fallen in love with Muruga but, is not able to share her secret with her friends. Shivaranjani, excelled as the sakhi, bringing out the initial shock, disappointment and sorrow and hiding those successfully while listening to her friends.
‘Gummanannu Karayadhirae’ by Purandaradasa was tailor-made to portray the delightful antics of little Krishna. Though he had slain many asuras as an infant, he pleads with Yasodha to not call the gumma (an imaginary bugbear that mothers call to make their babies behave) and promises to stop being mischievous.
The thillana in Rasikapriya, composed and choreographed by Kiran Subramanyam, was a visual and aural delight with interesting jathis and picturesque patterns.
Archana H R, Shraddha Srinivas and Harshini Chandrashekar along with Shivaranjani and Rasika added lustre with their performance.
The orchestra gave rock-solid support to the dancers. Guru Kiran Subramanyam’s nattuvangam was majestic. He uttered jathis at break-neck speed with distinctive clarity. To this was added the bhava-laden vocal support of Raghuram. Flautist Vivek Krishna and violinist Pradesh Achar set the mood while Bhavani Shankar monitored the momentum on the mridangam.
The Mangaluru-based reviewer writes on classical arts.