Adavus find full expression
KALAKSHETRA'S KUTRALA Kuravanji dance drama took the audience back to the days of yore, when this genre of the dance was a simple and straightforward presentation without gimmicks. Looking at the production today, when every trick known to the proscenium has been harnessed for the dance drama, it seems difficult to imagine that when this was produced by Rukmini Devi, it was hailed as a sophisticated happening in the world of Bharatanatyam.
Running at an even pace with no highs or lows, neither the entrance of Vasanthavalli nor that of the Kurathi creating ripples or a stir, the production in its word and lyric based approach, had its most heartening aspect in the immaculate technique of the dancers. What most choreographers would have turned into an abhinaya dominant presentation, in Rukmini Devi's hands, is made into dance where all the typical Bharatanatyam adavus find full expression. To be able to see the profile of movement, so unblemished in geometry was in itself a treat. But all the dancers, particularly two of the four sakhis were wanting in the region of abhinaya.
Boby in the main role of Vasanthavalli is a very talented and clean dancer. With experience more sparkle will add to the weight of her dance, which at present does not go beyond being pleasantly correct. Long passages when each of the sakhis and Vasanthavalli describe the splendour of the Lord individually, while all the other dancers keep standing waiting for their turn, makes it difficult for the performers to retain that stillness which still does not negate their presence and participation in the action. Nirmala as the Kurathi had the same quiet efficiency.
The lone handed vocal support sustaining a full length ballet by Hari Prasad deserved full credit. Silken smooth in its flow, not a note out of sruti or a missed cue, his singing was a melodic triumph.
The only aspect one found wanting was an occasional note of authority in the music, acting as a counterpoint to the richness and easy flow of melody.
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