Anjali Narayanan's Bharatanatyam recital showcased her creativity in fusing technique and bhavaabhinaya.
GRACEFUL AND ENCHANTING: Anjali Narayanan.
The Bharatanatyam recital by 12-year-old Anjali Narayanan, which was organised by Swaralaya at Sreepadam Auditorium last week, added another feather to Swaralaya's cap. The Chennai-based dancer hails from Kalpathy in Palakkad. Although this was not her first stage performance, her recital at Palakkad was her first in her hometown. Anjali is a recipient of Bharath Kalachar Scholarship for Bharatanatyam since 2002.
Anjali began the evening's recital with an invocation, which was a Bharathiyar song `Sivasakthi' in raga Sivasakthi set to Adi talam. She enthralled the audience with her rhythmic and aesthetic excellence. Her presentation of different postures of `Sakthi' was proof of her artistry.
The T.V. Gopakrishnan's varnam `Varana magha vaa... ,' dedicated to Lord Ganesha in raga Nattakuriji and set to Adi talam, revealed the dancer's vigour and technical virtuosity. A unique anecdote had been added as `sanchari' in this varnam. It narrates Ganesh's return to Mount Kailas after Gurukulavasom, having mastered the 64 arts. When asked to demonstrate what he had learnt, he begins with the art of dance, for his father is the king of Tandava and his mother, the queen of Lasya.
Parvathy, however, is apprehensive as she fears that the audience will laugh at him, if Ganesha dances with his potbelly and elephant face, but the moment he begins to dance, his art holds everybody spellbound. The presiding deity of the 64 arts declares that from that day onwards, any one aspiring to learn, will first pray to Lord Ganesha before beginning his education. This piece gave Anjali ample scope for bhavabhinaya and creativity.
The next item was an Annamacharya keerthana which featured Alamelumanga's dance for Lord Ventakesa `Alarulu kuriyaga... ' in raga Sankarabharanam set to Adi talam. Her grace and enchanting movements captivated the audience.
A ragamalika set to Adi talam from `Kuravaikootha' in the legendary Ilango Adigal's `Chilapathikaram' - `Vadavaraiai mathakki... ' was the next item.
It is in praise of Lord Narayana, who through his many incarnations as Koorma, Vamana, Rama and Narasimha reinstate Dharma.
Her portrayal of the avatars was proof of her innate talent and devotion. The performance easily transformed into a prayer on account of her subtleties of abhinaya. Anjali concluded her recital with a tillana of `Uthukkadu venkatakavi... ' in raga Suruthi set to Adi talam. The piece revealed her expertise at such a young age.
Anjali, a student of Class Seven at Padma Seshadri Balabhavan Senior Secondary School, Chennai, has been learning Bharatanatyam since the age of four under the tutelage of Jayanathi Subramaniam.
The accompanying artistes were Jayanthi Subramaniam (Nattuvangham), Gomathy Nayakam (vocal), Viswanathan (mridangom) and M.S. Kannan (violin).
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