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Compilation on Krishna

Hima Bindu's `Navaneeta Natyam' gave a rhythmic shape to songs on Krishna.

There are some performances that pick up towards the fag end; well, Hima Bindu's was one such. In other words, it took the dancer a full one hour to warm up, by then having gone through three compositions. The theme was an amorphous compilation of a few

songs on Lord Krishna adapted to the Kuchipudi format. Hima Bindu opened her presentation with Venugaana loluni gana in Kedaragowla. She seemed a little strained going by her synthetic abhinaya and footwork, which though precise to tala was stiff and graceless.

The pause, post muktaimpu was visibly awkward throughout the performance. The essence of this meaningful song failed to get translated into the idiom of dance. The Narayana Teertha tarangam (Aalokaye Rukmini ... ) set to Hussaini was a long-drawn verse affair with the tambulam (plate) display.

A research scholar in Kuchipudi is expected to handle fundamental items with maturity and poise. For, Hima Bindu chose pieces that are taught at basic level in Kuchipudi, be it the plate dance or Madhura nagarilo... . (Anandabhairavi). She could have showcased her prowess with tala and laya on the plate alternating it with the mridangam as the jatis were being spelt out.

Instead, the footwork delineations to be reproduced by the plate got submerged in the rigor of the mridangam making the entire exercise a sort of a circus feat. The dancer went through Madhura nagarilo like a beginner, especially the abhinaya to rajamargham idhe. The costume could have been complimentary to the theme instead of a garish red traditional ahaarya. Hima Bindu got engrossed towards the penultimate Krishna Shatkam (Adi Sankara's verses set to Mohana). This was evident in her style of dancing, which was by now more natural with apt abhinaya and engaging nritya.

A small consolation

The lilting, chime in the lyrics were suited to dance and to her credit, the artiste did justice to the meaningful verses. A nominal tillana followed by the mandatory mangalam wrapped up Navaneeta Natyam staged at Thyagaraja Gana Sabha under the aegis of Muvva-Nritya Raaga Nigamam.

At no point of time did the dancer demonstrate her strength at nritta (pure dance) through powerful footwork nor deep emotive abilities at abhinaya.

The recourse to easy-going, light adavus is no tests of skill. Badrinath's choreography suffers from amateurship. Srinivasa Sastry's vocal was at times inaudible in base. Rajagopalachari on the mridangam, Ravi Kiran on the flute and Jaya Kumara Charya on harp were their usual best.

R.K.

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