Dramatic visual treat
A. RAMALINGA SASTRY
Neelima Raju's Kuchipudi solo wowed.
PRETTY POSE Neelima Raju performing Kuchipudi solo at Kalabharati. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
A religious offering with passion, the Kuchipudi solo by K. Neelima Raju (doing MS in cancer-related genetics in the United States) at Kalabharathi for Visakha Music and Dance Academy last Monday was a panoramic projection of the graceful grandeur of the spectacle designed in the choreography. Her guru Vempati China Satyam choreographed a number of items, which in different combinations could conform to the norms of a traditional format for solo performances.
From the word go starting with obeisance to Narthana Ganapathi set in Bhoopalam, Neelima actualised the Virohatkhantitha as it gets revealed in an Ashtapadhi of Jayadev set in Ragamalika, the joyous dance symbolising the omniformity of Lord Chidambareswara, the Khanditha Nayika as depicted in the Kshetrayya Padam, Indendu set in Surati and as a dauntless character as it gets unveiled in Dharmapuri Subbaraya Ayyar's Javali, Parulannamaata set in Kapi till the end of the first half, danced her way into the hearts of the audience. Enchantingly, the effort seemed to be a successful exploration of the ideal of making the dance assume an exquisite form of visual music.
Then for a change, and to provide enough time for dress change, sprightly young children Sudha and Sulakshana, students of the local branch of Kuchipudi Art Academy of Vempati at Madras, presented Koluvaitiva Ranga Sai, an excerpt from the ballet choreographed and directed for the Academy by its founder. Leaving an impression as if the picturesque sculptures on the temple walls came alive, fluid on the stage, the youngsters held an excellent promise.
The second half comprised empathetic visualisation of the episodes of Viswamitra Yaga Rakshana, Sita Kalyanam, Aranyavaasam including Sitapaharanam and Ravana Vadha. Then, followed a similar process of visualising all the childhood pranks of Lord Krishna. Neelima was a visual treat. Executing intricate swara and jathi patterns ending in Teermanams knit in complex mathematical matrices, balancing her feet on the edges of a brass plate towards the end in particular, she appeared like charmingly articulating intimate romance with uncanny precision on laya.
Nattuvangam by N. V. N. Bhanu with support on mridangam by G. Venkata Rao, vocals by B. Varahalu, violin by A. Satyavishal and flute by T. Atchutha Rao constituted the scintillating back-drop of music.
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