THE AUSPICIOUS month of Karthikai, specially suited for the worship of Krithikasuta (Lord Subrahamanya), has been aptly chosen by Anita Guha for premiering her dance-ballet, Mahadevam Mahasenam Bhaje, woven round the mythological episodes leading to Kumara Sambhava (the birth of Lord Subrahmanya) and Soora Samhara (the destruction of the demon Soora). The deep-rooted religious aspect of our art forms creates an eternal appeal and Anita exhibited her skill to narrate such themes in a crisp, catchy, and impressive manner.
There was an easy flow throughout the production, which linked both the lyrics (P. R. Venkatasubramaniam) and the dance format (Anita Guha). Most of the lyrics were simple, yet very effective; the dance and music were complementary to each other. The musical set-up was apt with Anita Guha and Radha Badri singing with feeling, to enrich the different situations. Anita's management of the different aspects of the production deserves praise. The costumes, scenic arrangements, and lights (Gopi) added the right note of dignity to the divine theme. Equal credit is to be given to the young dancers who revealed remarkable talent and involvement.
Anita's hard work was evident in the scene of the three sets of six very young children who depicted the different stages of child Muruga (verses from Kanda Puranam) as sons of the Karthikai maidens. Training young people to do a neat job is by no means an easy task. It was a joy to watch these children dance with gay abandon. It was a striking performance by Aishwarya Narayanaswamy (Lord Siva), apart from Medha Hari, Sattvika, Bhairavi, and Aishwarya, (disciple of Chandrakala Jagannathan) as the demon Soora. Some of the familiar faces in Anita's productions participated with commitment.
The story of the ballet revolved round the scenes of Kailasa and Parvati seeking permission to attend the Yagna of Daksha, the Goddess reborn as Himagirikumari, Parvati Kalyanam, the birth of Kumara, His receiving of the Saktyaayudha and thereafter episodes leading to Soora Samhara and concluding with the marriage of Valli and Muruga. Noteworthy were the opening scene that had a rich ambience, the dance of Rati and Manmatha, and the scene of the Lord on the war front.
The figure that stole the show, however, was Saranya Narayanaswamy as Lord Subrahmanya. She was an apt choice for the title of the Tamil deity, Muruga (meaning beauty). There was so much composure and tranquillity on her face and a note of joy that made her skill shine more.
The fitting finale came with the lilting composition, "Aindu Ezhuttil Udittha Arumugha" to conclude the show through a picturesque depiction of the divine wedding of Valli and Muruga. Padmanabhan (mridangam), P. R. Venkatasubramaniam (lyricist and keyboardist) Muruganandam (violin) and Ramesh (flute) worked in unison as members of the orchestra, without allowing one dull moment in this neat and compact presentation.
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