IN CONTROLWith a complete grip over her idiom, Shubha Dhananjay won the hearts of her audience
Now in its silver jubilee year, Bharatanjali, the school of Bharatanatya led by veteran guru B. Bhanumathi presented a neat and tidy dance drama called Navarasa Karnataka during the Kinkini Nrithyotsava held at Dr. H.N. Kalakshetra. The attempt to evoke each of the navarasas was almost a success. Various historical incidents of the State of Karnataka like the famous Muddanna-Manorama's lively dialogues for shringara rasa, Kittoor Rani Chennamma's tale for veera rasa, transformation of Srinivasa Nayaka into Purandaradasa for bhayanaka, Tenali Ramakrishna's humour, a Muslim devotee of Krishna, Mumtaz becoming Beebi Nachiyar for Karuna rasa et al were utilised for the purpose. Guru Bhanumathi's direction and choreography were no doubt fetching. The role of the Brahmin who was instrumental for the events of Purandaradasa's earlier life could have been more rewarding. It turned out to be a caricaturing of the character. The other dancers of the Bharatanjali demonstrated their finely honed skills.
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A seasoned dancer and teacher Shubha Dhananjaya won the hearts of the packed rasikas during the same dance festival. The perfect anga shuddhi, mastery over laya, stage experience, grip over the idiom and expertise drew the attention of the rasikas. Added to these were refined mukhijas, emotionally surcharged drishti and a fair satwikaabhinaya. The sequences of breaking the Shiva-dhanus, Sri Rama's benevolent acts, Tulasidas's bhajan "Sri Ramachandra Prabho" were given a refined airing. The Nataraja pada ("Adum daivame") and an ashtapadi ("Radhika tava virahe") established an intimate rapport with the audience.
The highlight of the evening was Perini Nrithya. It is common to see the plate and pot dance in Kuchipudi Shubha Dhananjay revelled in its rendition. Supported by a shloka on goddess Saraswathi and a krithi in Mohana Kalyani ("Sangeetha Sahitya Sancharini"), she executed the complicated jathis and swaras attached to it with ease and aplomb. Even the one-leg renditions were thrilling. The dialogue between (sawal-jawab) the mridangist and the dancer was a rewarding experience. Prasannakumar (nattuvanga), Balasubramanya Sharma (vocal), Hemanthkumar (violin), V.R.Chandrasekhar (mridanga) and Srihari (khanjira) enriched the dance.
M. SURYA PRASAD
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