SRI KRISHNA GANA SABHA
Portrayals – mature and melodramatic
Deepika's natural acting skill came to the fore in her performance.
PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
Deepika Potarazu, a disciple of guru Vempati Chinna Satyam and Vempati Ravi Shankar is a promising young Kuchipudi dancer from North America. She combines a lively stage presence with a good head for the dramatic to create an attractive picture.
Given that the word ‘subtlety' finds little use in the melodramatic style of Kuchipudi, Deepika's uninhibited acting skill comes in handy. Her portrayals already have a sheen of maturity as she intuitively places the characterisations in proper perspective. The role-play is so real that sometimes one can almost expect dialogue to pour forth, like when the deceitful Duryodhana laughs out loud celebrating his victory in the dice game with Yudhishtira in ‘Ksheerasagara' (Devagandhari, Adi, Tyagaraja). Similarly effective was the heroine's sarcasm and anger towards her straying hero and his new woman in the Kanada javali ‘Vani Pondu.'
The repertoire tilted towards the narrative, so one did not see as much nritta as one would have liked. The Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyar ‘Maragatha Mani' (Sankarabharnam and Arabhi, Adi) composition, a favourite for the brass-plate dance was one of the highlights of the evening. Deepika's movements were effervescent and well-timed, though there seemed to be some corrections necessary in the posture as in an unnecessary forward bend from the waist. There is room for improvement in the footwork on the plate as well.
The Oothukadu composition and the Dhanasri thillana (Adi, Swati Tirunal) were delectable choreographies, the former by the father and the latter by his son. While lyrical movements and a peppy pace marked both, the latter was particularly enjoyable for its use of ‘usi' in the arudis and interesting movements in the nritta sections. Another choreographic feature that stood out was in the Tyagaraja kriti with the bard's conversations with the Kodhanda Rama picture providing continuity between episodes.
The recital was an enjoyable combination of a rich orchestra of artists and a talented dancer. Headed by Vempati Ravi Shankar, who recited the sollus and guided the artists with well-practised ease, the team had Venkata Sastry (vocal), Neeladri M. (violin), V.V.S. Murali (flute), Subramanya Sharma (veena), Ganesh (mridangam) and Kalpana Jayanthi (nattuvangam).
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