A colourful grand finale
Natyanjali's final day programme at Perur, Coimbatore, was marked by the dancers' excellent abhinaya and jathi.
PHOTOS: K. Ananthan.
ON THE FOUR FORMS OF SHAKTI: Gayathri Balagurunathan and her troupe performing `Ayigiri Nandhini'.
The final day programme at the Natyanjali festival organised by Rotary Club, Coimbatore Metropolis at Patteeswarar temple, Perur, began with Kovai Sriniketan's colourful dance presentation. The troupe that had just returned from the Edinburgh Mela was in high spirits. After the `pushpanjali,' Mridula Rai, the guru, danced for `Kuzhaloodhi Manamellaam' in Kambodhi with excellent abhinayas and jathis.
`Aananda Nadamidum Paadhan' in Kedaragowla by the girls and the tillana in Dhanashree (by the whole group) were highly enjoyable. The sprightly choreography instilled enthusiasm and the quick change of costumes was appealing. Mridula Rai had taken care of all the minute details and hers was a well-turned-out show, though very brief.
Falls in love
Gayathri Balagurunathan's `Ayigiri Nandhini' was a dance drama focusing on the four forms of Shakti. In the first episode, `Kayilai Naayaki' the young girl Parvathi, plays about with her friends on the Himalayan valleys, happens to see the meditating Siva and falls head over heels in love with Him. Siva taunts her playfully for sometime and finally marries her. The slender and beautiful Janani's (Parvathi) dance movements and facial expressions were excellent. Thiruchelvan was convincing as Siva.
The second was `Mayilai Naayaki'. A slightly older Parvati allows her attention to deflect while listening to Siva's Upadesha and is cursed to become a peahen. While she is doing penance at Mylapore in the form of the queen of birds, Siva appears before her and takes her back as his beloved consort.
`Abhiraama Valli,' the presiding deity of Thirukkadaiyur, ruled the third episode. Abirami Bhattar, the devotee who is lost in the glory of the mother, tells King Sarfoji that the full moon will appear, without realising that it was a new moon day. The angry king proceeds to execute him, but Devi creates the full moon by throwing her ear-stud (Thaadangam). The king understands the greatness of the devotee and asks for forgiveness. It was a lively episode filled with devotion. Nandini Ramani as Abhirami was imposing and the other dancers performed with involvement.
The final episode was that of Chamundeswari, powerfully portrayed by Pavithra Ambikapathy. The plump dancer instilled awe when she was seated on the throne, but her dance of fury while demolishing the demons Chanda and Munda proved that she could dance with agility and force. Her whole body trembled with rage and when she put out her tongue she was like the Maha Kali Herself.
The grand finale was the enthralling Odissi dance by Pushpita Mishra and her troupe presented with typically exquisite ornaments and headgear. A disciple of Guru Pankaj Charan Das, and an acclaimed exponent of Odissi, Pushpita Mishra began with `Mangalacharan' and proceeded to portray the different manifestations of the divine mother for the sloka, `Yaa Devi Sarva Bhootheshu.' The navarasas flitted across the face of Pushpita Misra with great ease and she looked like a live sculpture. The troupe began `Nagendra Haaraaya,' the Siva Panchaksharam by Adi Sankara with lamps in hand, creating a meditative ambience on the darkened stage. The frequent `tribangi' postures, in which the body is bent in three places, were lovely.
Saraswathi Maaji, Manusmitha Das, Priyanka and Mita were the other dancers who added richness to the programme. The spirited orchestra comprising Neemakanth, Ramachandra Behra, Sanjeev, Vijay Kumar and Jeevan Kumar was effective.
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