Dancing to the couplet
Mood and music were in perfect unison as Tirukkural came alive. RUPA SRIKANTH
PICTURE OF COORDINATION: Pathmaraja Sisters. Photo: M. Srinath.
The moving dancers on the darkened stage carrying tiny lamps, and the unobtrusive backlighting for the opening viruttam, created a meditative atmosphere where movement, music and mood complemented each other. Again later, the visual of Jesus Christ labouring under the cross was captured beautifully in silhouette with lyrics set in melodious Charukesi. Powerful moments like these peppered the dance production Thiruk-Kural Bharatam.
Besides the lighting designed by C. P. Satyajit, the musical score by Prof. D. Pasupathi and the choreography and presentation by gurus Shantha and V. P. Dhananjayan, credit must also go to the dancers Pathmaraja sisters Kavitha, Meera and Anjana whose expressiveness, co-ordination and professionalism provided sheen to the production.
The couplets researched and put together by Tamil scholar S. Raghuraman were presented as independent segments.
Messages were driven home with stories of well-known characters from mythology or from the contemporary milieu.
Though heavy in orchestration, the musical score retained its classicism with the use of only classical instruments. Especially memorable were Bhavani Prasad's Saaramathi on the veena, T. Murugavel's soulful Subhali on the nagaswaram and vocalist Preethi Mahesh' s Todi.
The other musicians were vocalists Prof. Pasupathi and Sashidharan, nattuvangam Shantha Dhananjayan, percussion, R. Vedakrishnan, S. Sundar and Sowrirajan, violin, R. Kalaiarasan and Vijayaraghavan, flute, S. Sunil Kumar and tanpura, Lakshminarayan.
There were a couple of scenes that did not appeal. One was the couplet that spoke of physical and verbal abuse, the enactment of which was too literal and without a context of reference.
Another scene that described a woman's chastity showed her worshipping at her husband's feet. But the painstaking effort should not go unnoticed. From the gorgeous costume to the custom-made jewellery, the detailing was remarkable.
The shows will benefit children's charities in India and Sri Lanka.
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