A seasoned performance
It is always good to see young dancers making progress and refining their talent from one performance to the other. Tall, well-built and dedicated Deepa Srinath, a ward of Guru Radha Sridhar of Sri Venkatesha Natya Mandira is one such dancer who has been striking positively in her dance endeavour. Her programme at the Khimcha auditorium of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan easily vouched for her honed skills.
She could summon all her dance abilities gifted and acquired in delineating nritta, nrithya and abhinaya elements of Bharatanatya. Her facial expressions with an enchanting smile were communicative. She had a traditional beginning with Pushpanjali and Ganesha stuti ("Maha Ganapathim", Nata). The attributes of Lord Ganesha and his greatness were neatly depicted by the dancer with some interesting postures. Goddess Durga took birth to annihilate the demon Raktabeejaasura. The related story was enacted by Deepa with the textual support drawn from a krithi in Dharmavathi ("Durgadevi samrakshamaam") by Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The lasya and vibrant and vigorous movements defined the grandeur of the Devi.
It was a special varna for the occasion and incidentally it was the highlight of her recital. The first part of the varna beginning with "Sri Rajagopalam" was addressed to Lord Krishna and the latter (from charana onwards starting with 'Dayayaa maam paahimaam Sri Rama') brought out the glory of Sri Rama. The benevolent deeds of Rama and Krishna were captivatingly shown in the sancharis. There was a proportionate representation to pure dance and abhinaya. Deepa's seasoned artistry glowed in the portrayal of Navarasas on the basis of various episodes drawn from Ramayana. Shringara (during the first meeting of Rama and Sitha), Hasya (breaking of the Shiva Dhanussu), Karuna (Dasharatha's anguish), Rowdra (Shoorpanakha and Lakshamana's combat), Bhaya (abduction of Seetha), Veera (Jatayu challenging Ravana), Adbhutha (construction of bridge over the sea), Beebhatsa (Rama-Ravana battle) and Shantha (establishment of Rama Rajya) rasas were evoked to impress the rasikas.
Brinda (nattuvanga), Ramesh Chadaga (vocal), Madhusudan (violin) and Ramesh (mridanga) contributed well to the success of the dance.
In the Mysore style of Bharatanatya dancing, the aspect of abhinaya finds an important place. The erstwhile pioneers of this style emphasise on this. Dr. K.Venkatalakshamma, perhaps the last of that lineage of Asthana Vidushis, contributed much to its propagation and popularisation.
Her birth centenary was celebrated on a low key. She was remembered on her third death anniversary by Dr. Venkatalakshamma Trust comprising of her students at the Ravindra Kalakshetra under the guidance of her grand daughter Shakuntala. One of her prominent disciples Vidya Ravishankar led the show with her students.
Swadheenapathike, Vasakasajjike, Virahothkanthithe, Khandite, Kalahantarithe, Vipralbdhe, Proshitpriye and Abhisarika nayikas were portrayed on the basis of the Ashtapadis "Nijadasa" (Behag), "Natha Hare" (Sindhubhairavi), "Radhika tava virahe" (Vasanthi), "Yahi Madhava" (Mohana), and "Rathisukha saare" (Yamuna Kalyani).
M. SURYA PRASAD
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