Full of grace
The Sixth Dance Festival at Coimbatore was an enjoyable synthesis of music and dance.
PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN.
The Sixth Dance Festival an annual feature to honour deserving artistes by the Coimbatore Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was inaugurated by Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy at its auditorium here, in the presence of a large and distinguished gathering.
The conferment of `Nrithya Ratna' on the distinguished Bharatanatyam exponent lent lustre to the event. The speakers eulogised the outstanding contributions made by the illustrious dancer for more than five decades for the promotion of Indian classical dance. The award was presented on behalf of the Bhavan by its chairman, Krishnaraja Vanavarayar. The distinguished artiste replied suitably. Following the conferment of the award, `Perini,' and `Narthaki,' a programme in Bharatanatyam and `Nrithyollasa' a Kathak dance recital by the students of Natyatharaga, Bangalore, enthralled the dance buffs in the packed hall.
PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN.
The recital choreographed by Shubha Dhananjay began with Ganapathi stotra in ragamalika. She chose to depict the feminine grace of woman with elegance as Jaganmatha underscoring bhakti bhava in a Balamuralikrishna composition. The description of Lord Siva in "Jaya Jaya Shambho" that followed next was a harmonious blend of nritta and abhinaya.
An agile and graceful dancer, Shubha's charming presence on the stage exuded a divine element. Her sense of balance and rhythm was an enjoyable synthesis of music and dance. Her ability to transform the verbal connotations into their visual elements was marked in the pot dance lending a touch of aesthetic finesse. She was supported by Veena Basavarajaiah and Nivedita Muralidharan whose precise razor-sharp movements were a feast to the eyes of the cognoscenti. The decisive link of the eyes and hands was illustrative of the final item a tillana in Tilang raag.
Aesthetically designed costumes in pleasing colours enhanced the subtle movements of the dancers. In `Narthaki,' Lord Nataraja was delineated as an embodiment of the five elements constituting the universe, after Ganesa Vandhanam. The dancer had good scope to explore the subtle levels of the Cosmic Dancer. The predominantly nritta-oriented item drew wide acclaim.
Charumathi has a commanding stage presence. Intricate footwork and balanced movements characterised her performance in the Kathak item. Her Tarana in Jhenjuti was a delightful presentation where the choreographic subtleties were well captured. Indira Shankar and Pallavi (vocal), Ramesh (mridangam), Pranesh (flute) and Natarajan Murthi (violin) rendered excellent orchestral support.
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