Three-day dance extravaganza

Three-day dance extravaganza

Along with Jingle bells, the dancing bells are  ringing in Mysore. The city is tuned to all kinds of dance and its activities. A ten days extravaganza of Vasundharotsava  at the Jaganmohana Palace on one hand along with a  very educative morning sessions at Rotary West and a three days Dance festival in memory of Dance Guru Vid. Vishnudas at the Vasudevacharya Bhavana were the attractive events.

The morning sessions usually attract serious students and scholars but not those who are interested only in the practical aspect of the art form. But these sessions are eye openers in many ways. It creates an opportunity to peep in to the shastragranthas and  the traditional art. The lecture demonstrations could inspire the youngsters to know more about the theoretical aspects for sure.

 The two days lecture demonstrations (24th and 25th of December 2011)along with a discussion on making the classical dance more popular were indeed useful in many ways. The second day of the morning sessions brought out a rare custom that was more in practice in music than in Dance. The Saptha Suladi Taalas. Danseus Lalitha Srinivasan explained in detail the application of the Saptha suladi taalas in a prabhanda her  students demonstrated.

There are prabhandas of Haridasas which were called as ‘Chayalaga’, ‘Salaga’ and ‘chooda’. It was only in 17th century that these suladi prabhandas entered Dance. Lalitha mentioned that there were different suladis for Dance and music. She opined that their intricate taala pattern could be the reason for their disappearance. It is interesting to know that these suladi prabhandas were more in practice in Karnataka. Her talented students demonstrated the different chari, karana and a part of suladi.

Another rare and interesting demonstration was the Simhanandini taala. Though not exclusively Kuchupudi, this tradition prevailed in the Shiva temples of Andhra. This is a rare art form where the dancer draws the picture of lion on the floor with the foot work while dancing to the different taala combinations. This was presented by the famous Kuchupudi danseus Veena murthy of Bengaluru. She explained its background in detail before her student actually danced and drew the Simha on the floor smeared with Rangoli powder.

The six taala combination like ‘Chanchatputa, Kokilapriye, darpana, abhange and mudrike were explained in detail  . It is worth if only the students develop an interest to know the theoretical aspects of ‘Yathi’, ‘Angas’, ‘Kriye’ and the different ragas used in such compositions. Veena also mentioned that this art form was in practice in Mysore in the name of ‘Brindavana Natya’ and ‘Padmavali Natya’ . These two demonstrations highlighted the importance of taala in its different splendour.

 The disciples of Natyacharya M.Vishnudas flock together every year to celebrate a three days Dance festival in memory of their beloved Guru. (December 25th, 26th and 27th ). Disciples remember him with respect and pay a rich tribute in the form of Dance recitals. On the opening day, K.Vishwadeep, a prashishya of Vishnudas gave dance recital for the accompaniment of K.Ramamurthy Rao (Natuvanga), Ramesh chadaga (Vocal), Hanumantharaju (Mridanga) and Narayan(Violin). Vishwadeep is son and disciple of natyacharya Ramamurthy Rao who was a senior student of Vishnudas. This young dancer has carved a niche for himself with a very stylish way of dancing.

His dedication is clearly visible in every item he presents with utmost care. In a compact recital Vishwadeep presented a Pushpanjali, an expressive Varna , a Devaranama and a Tillana. The Padavarna by Dwaraki Krishnaswami  in Dharmavathy was the climax of the day which was fantastically choreographed by Vishwadeep.

This energetic dancer breathed life in to every sequence with his matured abhinaya and perfect footwork. The ragamalika Devaranama too contained the sequence of breaking the ‘Shiva Dhanus’ in detail which was lively presented by him. This young dancer who has received many accolades certainly has a bright future.

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