`Sangamum Sangamamum'... neat and cohesive.
CLEVERLY TITLED `Sangamum Sangamamum,' dancer Lakshmi Ramaswamy's latest endeavour seeks to recapture the simple passions of people of a bygone era through the window afforded by the 2000 year-old Sangam literature. Particularly favourable to vivid imagery is the `Akam' or love poetry that used the landscape as a backdrop against which the meandering course of human emotions was played out. The literary convention that mapped the landscape into five regions mountains, forests, fields, coasts and deserts with each corresponding to emotions such as union, patience, sulking, lament and separation, was uniformly adhered to. And each of these facets found expression in the selected works of the `Natrinai' compilation strung together under the guidance of the Tamil scholar Professor S. Raghuraman. This well-researched effort was supported by the Art and Culture Department and the Zonal Cultural Centre of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
`Neat' is an adjective that sums up the Bharatanatyam dance production in a nutshell. From the musical score composed by the talented vocalist Vanathy Raghuraman to the well-rehearsed group sequences, the restrained histrionics of the focal characters and the detailing of the primary-coloured costumes and lighting, the cohesive effort was tangible. Lakshmi, the dancer and senior disciple of Chitra Visweswaran has added depth to her style, while Lakshmi, the choreographer has proved that she is capable of handling ambitious group productions. Her choreography was best appreciated in the group numbers; in the exciting visualisation of the common folk in the mountains whose different pursuits were marked with distinct nadais set to an appealing Pantuvarali. Ramesh's melodious flute and Vedakrishnan's enthusiastic drumming on the Nagara enhanced the effect. The poignancy of the lovers accidentally bumping into each other in the temple was another memorable moment.
Yet the pace of narration was allowed to sag under the weight of long drawn out solos and repetitive revisiting of similar moods. The standard of dancing in the Sindhu Bhairavi tillana should also be improved upon.
Surprisingly these lapses in the tale of passion and pain did not tarnish the lustre of individual performances. Lakshmi as the heroine was mature while Roshini Rajmohan as her friend was uninhibitedly natural. S. Guhendran, a disciple of Adyar Lakshmanan, was an instant hit with the young audience. The heroine's mother Archana Mahesh was as self-assured. The other participating students of Sri Mudralaya were Lakshmi, Radha, Poornima, Vidya, Shweta and Gomathy. Guhendran's student Senthil Kumar too essayed different roles confidently.
Also supported by Priyashri Rao (nattuvangam) and Nagaraju (violin) the orchestra was a harmonious coming together of skill and precision.
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