PERFORMING FOR Bharat Kalachar, Srilatha Vinod's dance sparkled with the freshness of her style, its crisp nritta, strong footwork, and simple interpretative technique, which was quite remarkable. This senior disciple of Shantha and V. P. Dhananjayan has a vibrant stage presence, enhanced further by her confidence and artistic maturity.
As a young choreographer, she may be inclined towards trying out different ideas in the process of exploring her creativity, a natural phenomenon in the evolution of any artiste. While one can appreciate the seamless blending of movements, and the unusual inclusion of the mudras associated with Lord Muruga within the theermanams of the Khamas padavarnam, one must caution against the introduction of bhava in a pure dance sequence. This can only lead to confusion, where neither the nritta nor the abhinaya will attain its full potential. Fortunately, this was restricted to only the first theermanam of the padavarnam.
Brightly attired in shocking pink, Srilatha was a picture of grace and rhythmic excellence, a lasya-laden style of nritta that complemented her personality. Only her arai mandi was disappointing. Shantha Dhananjayan's voice modulation and skill with the nattuvangam always adds a special dignity to any recital, and this time, it was no different. The enthusiastic mridangist, Ramesh Babu, and the promising young nattuvanar Venkatakrishnan, contributed equally to Srilatha's success. Sashidharan was at his soulful best, supported ably by M. S. Kannan (violin), Sunil Kumar (flute) and Lakshminarayanan (tambura).
There is serenity in her dramatisation that came through in the padavarnam composition of Ranganayaki Jayaraman, "Velanai Kanbom Vaareer'' in Adi talam, in the detailing of Lord Muruga's life, like the creation of the rooster; his insignia, and the peacock, his vahana, his birth, and his encounter with the rakshasas Taraka and Soorapadma.
However, the most impressive of all was her delicate handling of Jayadeva's Ashtapadi, "Nibhrita Nikhunja Griham,'' Ragesri ragam, in which she was able to capture the eroticism of the love between Radha and Krishna, and relay it to her friend.
There exists the stillness within her that is crucial for an intense portrayal, but should watch her frequent nodding that can be distracting. There was also no need for the literal translation of the refrain, "Keshi Mathana Mudaram' every time.
Srilatha completed her programme with an angry nayika ticking off her wayward Krishna in the Behag javali, "Saara Maina Matalentha'' followed by a lively thillana in Amritavarshini ragam, Adi talam, a composition of Ranganayaki Jayaraman. A fine dancer, and a hardworking one at that, is a rare find.
Send this article to Friends by