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Enthralling performance

The depiction of `Kumarasambhavam' by Shridhar and Anuradha left the audience in raptures.



All in the family: Shridhar, Anuradha Shridhar and Anagha Gowri.

IT HAS been more than a decade and yet `Ramanathan' of the movie `Manichithrathazhu,' is still fresh in the hearts of Malayalam cine buffs. Dancer Shridhar, the one who matched danseuse Shobhana, step by step, has many fans.

Shridhar and his wife Anuradha Shridhar performed `Kumarasambhavam,' which was based on Kalidasa's famous drama of the same name. Shridhar and Anuradha made a dramatic entry from two sides of the stage to give a sparkling cholkettu and then proceeded to the episode of `Dakshayagam.'

Breathtaking tandava

Shiva's tandava as depicted by Shridhar was a breathtaking experience, even though he seemed to have dropped his characteristic rapid twists, swirls on the knee and so on.

Anagha Gowri, the daughter of the two dancers, portrayed the young Parvati, and the audience could not stop applauding. A crisp jathiswaram along with the main theme in Kalyani displayed Anuradha's grip over nritta. Sridhar's stage presence outshone that of Anuradha. But her grace is her saving factor.

Graceful depiction

The entrance of Kama and Rathi was gracefully depicted by the dancers. They leapt like deer and moved with the majestic gait of elephants. And, as Kama was about to shoot a floral arrow of love at Shiva, the dancers altered roles. Now Sridhar became Shiva and Anuradha, Kama. Kama is reduced to ashes and Shiva leaves in anger. An anguished Parvati goes to the Himalayas to do penance. Anuradha depicted the hardships of Parvati. Shiva, in the guise of a young hermit, comes to test her integrity. The music for the piece was exceptional and was effectively rendered by Srishuka, but for a few slips in his pronunciation of Sanskrit words. Prasanna Kumar, the nattuvanar, acted as an effective rhythm synthesizer, producing the effects of the ghatam and the chenda with utmost precision. Ananda ably slipped into the guise of the violinist.

Finally, Shiva, pleased with Parvati's integrity, takes her as his consort. Now, the dancers were all poise and elegance as they stepped into the final lapse of the dance.

HAREESH BAL

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