Worship of Hari and Hara through dance
A thematic Mohiniyattom-Bharatanatyam jugalbandi showcased the dancers' versatility and experience.
In step: Priya Krishnadas and Anjana Anand.
Dancers complain that there are few takers for the traditional `margam.' `Hari Hara Arpanam,' under the aegis of Kerala Fine Arts Society, Kochi, was presented as a jugalbandi betweenMohiniyattom and Bharatanatyam.
The theme was aimed at highlighting the convergence of Shaivite and Vaishnavite systems of worship. The dancers Priya Krishnadas and Anjana Anand conveyed this message of `ekam tat sat' through their presentation on the two deities, culminating in `Harivarasanam,' where the two shaktis of Hari and Hara meet.
The programme began with an invocation of Vishnu and Shiva highlighting their attributes through iconographic descriptions from the `Hariharatmaka sloka.' This was followed by a `pushpanjali' in ragam Arabi, Adi tala, incorporating both styles of dance.
The `cholkettu' designed here in the Mohiniyattom style, found Anjana struggling to keep pace with the idiom and the rhythm. Anjana, a graduate from Kalakshetra has perfected a technique, which sees her through complex `cholkettus,' with commendable ease. This was evident in `Shankara sreegiri nadaprabhoge,' a composition of Swati Tirunal in Hamsanandi raga. Shiva as the master of the `panchabhootas' was enacted in this piece. When the breeze on a moonlit night was displayed in anila, anala showed the power and fury of fire. `Sarasaksha,' a varnam in ragam Bowli depicted the aspect of Lord Vishnu assuming an avatara in his role as `The Preserver.'
Priya Krishnadas portrayed Narasimha avatara. Calculated, subdued movements, and understated abhinaya characterize Priya's style. The ferocity of the man-animal was effectively portrayed, the drama heightened by good lighting.
`Yesal' in the folk format, adapted from `Lakshmi Parvathi Samvadu pattu' where Lakshmi (Priya) and Parvathi (Anjana) ridicule each other's husbands. It is a symbolic representation of the tussle between Vaishnavites and Shaivites.
The use of the edekka and the mridangam brought to the fore the stylistic differences of the two dance forms. The strains of folk music as played on `yazhu' were duplicated well by Sangeet on the violin. The thillana by Balamuralikrishna in Ragam Brindavani depicts the coming together of Lord Shiva and Mohini (Lord Vishnu) culminating in the birth of Lord Ayappa. This symbolises the union Vaishnavism and Shaivism.
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