Graceful and expressive
SUHASINI SRIMAL is a graceful Bharatanatyam dancer who received her initial training from Sudharani Raghupathy, and is currently under the tutelage of Krishnaveni Lakshmanan, stalwart from Kalakshetra. Her performance for Lalitha Kala Vedika reflected an innate confidence and a passion for the art. There is an endearing freshness about her that contributes to her easy and natural manner on stage. Her concentration and enthusiasm were remarkably consistent. They did not falter from the opening Tisra Ekam Alarippu, until the very end. Having mastered the various nuances of the dance style, the challenge now for her would be to go beyond what is taught and add her own imprint to the characterisations.
The programme had an interesting mix of items. While the Kedaragowla kirthanam in Rupaka talam, ``Natanam Seiyum" by Ramaswami Sivan and the concluding Valaji thillana in Adi talam, a composition of Madurai N. Krishnan, were delightfully-choreographed items learnt under Sudharani Raghupathy, the delectable Anandabhairavi swarajathi ``Sakhiye" in Adi talam, was a vintage choreography by Rukmini Devi. One could at the same time appreciate both the dynamism of the contemporary choreographies, and the old-world charm of the earlier era, where time and patience were aplenty. What is admirable here is the sacredness with which these old choreographies are preserved even today and handed down untouched. It goes without saying that Krishnaveni Lakshmanan's expertise proved equal to the diverse repertoire.
The padams were handled with characteristic effortlessness, but a little introspection can take Suhasini's expressiveness much further. In ``Nindati chandana," the Ashtapadi in Darbari ragam, she captured eloquently the sakhi describing Radha's pain on her separation from Krishna, and the mugdha nayika in the javali ``Appaduru" was portrayed with the right amount of innocence and petulance that would characterise a young girl. But in the Nindastuthi ``Ethaikandu ichai kondai magale" in Kalyani, the sthayi bhava of the mother's concern for her daughter's choice and disgust towards Siva should have been maintained throughout the delineation.
The orchestra was led by Krishnaveni Lakshmanan, whose voice modulation was impressive. Sai Shankar as vocalist was melodic but rather inattentive during the abhinaya section, while Anil Kumar's deftness on the mridangam, and Vijayaraghavan's and Sashidharan's skill on the violin and flute respectively, added lustre to the performance.
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