Nirmala Seshadri... uninhibited.
THE MAGICAL setting was a tastefully decorated courtyard within a beautiful home. The dancer was Nirmala Seshadri, a Singapore-nurtured Bharatanatyam dancer, whose training continued under Jayanthi Subramaniam. She currently works with the abhinaya guru, Kalanidhi Narayanan.
The programme titled `Moments in Time' was divided into three segments, the traditional dance repertoire blended with contemporary choreography. The latter, in the first and last segments of the recital, brought out the best in her. There was a surge of energy and involvement, as well as an uninhibited approach that, however, was missing in the conventional items.
In `The Homecoming,' which opened the recital, for example, her supplication to Goddesses Parvathi and Gayathri for forgiveness and acceptance, and her incredulity when she gets a vision of Devi were captured exceedingly well; it seemed more like a personal outpouring. Similarly in `Eighteen Minutes,' she delineated her philosophy of life with verses from the Upanishads and the Gita, with enviable ease. A beautiful Gayathri bhajan scripted by Seshadri and Urmila Jha, `Jeevan ke anthim palchin mein', in Misra Bhatiyar raag asked for strength and grace to accept the inescapable. This was perhaps the most poignant moment in Seshadri's presentation. The middle segment comprised the traditional items. Her geometry and her azutham were notable in the varnam `Mohalahiri' by Kunnakudi Venkatarama Iyer, and choreographed by Indira Kadambi, in Kapi ragam, Adi talam, and the courtyard reverberated with the stamping of her feet.
However, despite her perceptible enjoyment, her comfort level did not seem very high in this segment as a whole. A javali, `Vagaladi bodhanalaku' in Behag ragam, Roopaka talam by Tirupati Narayana Swami, was followed by an Ashtapadi by Jayadeva in Suddha Saranga ragam, misra chapu talam, both choreographed by Kalanidhi Narayanan.
The excellent recorded music had T. V. Ramaprasad as composer and singer, Indira Kadambi doing the nattuvangam, Ramesh Babu taking care of percussion, Balasai on the flute, Ramdas on the violin, and Janardhan playing the sitar.
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