Interesting clips from the epic
A YOUNG choreographer with promise, Madhuvanti Arun has certainly imbibed some skill from her teacher, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. As a tribute to the royal composer, Maharaja Swati Thirunal, Maduvanti had chosen one of his most famous compositions, the epic varnam, Bhavayami Raghuramam, in ragamalika and Rupaka talam, using the original score as set by Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. A group presentation with Madhuvanti, Aadit Narayanan, Archana Narayanamoorthy and young Medha Hari, it traced the life of Rama from birth until his Maha Pattabhishekam.
There were many entertaining moments - some provided by the story, some by the choreography, and some by the characters. Numerous suitors try to win Sita in her swayamvaram, prominent among them being the ten-headed Ravana. Madhuvanti's delineation, though not original, was well thought out. The chase between Rama and Mareecha, the deer, was amusing, with Medha as the elusive deer and Aadit as Rama. In the line ``Sujana vimala dhashaasya kritya Janakaja khelana," the abduction of Sita, her agitation, and the fight with the valiant Jatayu was dramatically portrayed. An incident taken from the Tulsi Ramayan where Guha beseeches Rama not to turn his boat into a woman, like he did when he restored Ahalya to her feminine form from a stone, was an interesting sanchari. Guha says this, supposedly as an excuse to wash Rama's feet. The most endearing scene in the presentation was the sethu bandana when the vaanaras build a bridge across the sea, each monkey contributing differently- a strong monkey, a serious one, a weak one and a playful one. Madhuvanti, Archana and Medha were disarming in their roles.
There was some mediocre nritta in between the delineations, some of it Bharatanrityam and the rest in the regular Bharatanatyam format. The Padma Seshadri sisters Randhini and Roshini, were tuneful. Divyasena doing the nattuvangam was efficient as was Padmanabhan with his percussion. Sankar and Ramesh on the violin and flute respectively were good. It was a cohesive presentation that was entertaining.
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