Super fine blend
Radhika Puthenedam's recital was replete with lucid `abhinaya' matched with lithe energy.
BODY LANGUAGE Radhika Puthenedam during the performance
There are some artistes who melt into the medium through which they express - be it music, dance, painting or sculpture and breathe life into the art form. Radhika Puthenedam is one such dancer who can stand apart and get noticed on stage even in a group choreography . There is something in the way she dances that is bound to catch a sensitive art lover and demand his/her full attention. It was a pleasure watching her elegant, svelte movements with lucid abhinaya as she went through the Ananda narthana Ganapathi-a song in Gambheera Nattai replete with Oothukaadu Venkatasubbayyar's rippling lyrical beauty, the Ashtapadi in Todi - Rase harimiha vihita vilasam and the tillana set to Natabhairavi (a Rukmini Arundale's dance composition) with her partners, Himabindu and Archana.
Radhika's handling of this simple Ganesha stuti, especially her narthanam in the fast cycle, conjured up the picture of a joyful dancing Ganapathi in full swing! She has an inborn ability to emote not just through the routine hastamudras (gestures) and facial expressions but with body language that flows along with the abhinaya in a super fine blend. This was most evident in the Ashtapadi where a covetous, love-lorn Radha's state of mind is beautifully brought out in the lyrics. The Ashtapadi could have been a solo by virtue of its content that calls for sensitive handling and rich bhava delineation, which got diluted in being displayed by two individual dancers whose emotional wavelengths did not seem to tally. The Kalakshetra style was palpable in every move especially in the sancharis and the aesthetic patterns of shifting positions in the group tillana. Radhika's captivating smile at all times is her USP.
Though Radhika was strikingly distinct, the presentation fell short of excellence due to two other artistes who made a threesome in all. Right from the mandatory Pushpanjali (Malahari) to the Purandaradasar keertana - Jaganmohane Krishna the dancers as a group lacked perceptive powers like spacing on stage, synch and a seamless blend.
Though making accurate rhythmic moves to the jatis, the dissimilarity was glaring. While Himabindu evinced a grace and dexterity in her footwork and gestures, Archana seemed a mechanical dancer neither involved in nor inspired to dance. The tillana was the only saving grace where despite negligible flaws (in sharing the stage space) the flow was smooth with no major hiccups in footwork and moves, which ran into beautiful patterns. The Geetopadesam in Ragamalika was a dignified finale. Nattuvangam by Guru Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry (who also set some of the dance compositions) and mridangam by Rajagopalachari was a harmonious blend, while D.S.V. Sastry on the vocal sounded melodic. Nagaraju on the bamboo made a visible mark. Shoppers at Shilparamam (art and craft mela) made for the floating audience, which is no compliment to any artiste.
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