LAVANYA AND Mrinalini, disciples of Dhananjayans and Radhika Surajith, who performed in the Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha series, seemed serious and committed in their artistic endeavour. The charming, fragile dancing duo, mingled skill and perseverance to lend their recital considerable merit. While Lavanya, elder of the two revealed reasonable grip over the abhinaya aspects, the younger Mrinalini exhibited noteworthy control over the Nritta details. Radhika Surajith who has trained them to capture the nuances of grace in execution has succeeded only in part, as one noticed certain stiffness, typical of the school from where all these artistes have branched out.
The performance commenced with Alarippu in Misra Triputa (11Akshara), which was well managed by the duo. Also Radhika, who conducted with confidence, acquitted herself well. However, this number had new approaches in hand delineations that were different from the usual.
The main piece was the varnam, ``Swami Naan Undan Adimai" in Natakurinji, beautifully sung by Vanati Raghuraman, rich enough to raise the devotional content to greater heights. Vanati's rendering of the opening line dwelling on the word Swami and later Namamrutam were enhanced the visual presentation.
Both Radhika and Vanati set the right tempo for the latter part of the number, creating a spirited ambience for the dancers to proceed with more involvement. Lavanya and Mrinalini described the different episodes with sincerity, while elaborating on the glories of Lord Siva-Nataraja, the central deity addressed in the composition. However, Mrinalini has to be more relaxed in her approach. Lavanya appeared gentle and communicated the interpretations with ease and grace.
In the Nritta part, both in the theermanam sections and the charana swaras, Mrinalini was more precise and firm than Lavanya who appeared as though she lacked the energy to go through and complete the adavus with proper posture and perfection.
However, the duo depicted the grandeur of the Lord of Dance in the second part of the Varnam joyfully. Radhika's dance composition of the Varnam had several light movements, lacking depth.
The episodic narrations, portrayal of the concept of Ardhanari, and the sisters presenting the ideas in an alternating method were interesting.
However, among the different theermanams presented, the one after Namamrutam was interspersed with portrayal of the dancing Lord without the normal hand delineations corresponding to the footwork.
Such attempts, although interesting, alters to a great extent the traditional set-up in the execution of theermanams that are meant to be performed with specific hand movements that go with the adavu patterns.
Also the set-up in total, did not infuse much physical work so essential for young dancers, for achieving solid grounding in pure dance.
The Varnam exposition however proved the sincere involvement of not only the dancers but also the entire team, consisting of Radhika and Vanati, with Ramesh Babu (mridangam) adhering with perfect coordination and T. K. Padmanabhan (violin) providing soothing support.
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