Never too old to dance

Spellbinding recital

Vyjayanthimala Bali, who had earned the title ‘Twinkle Toes’ in Bollywood for her dancing skills, proved it yet again at the age of 76.

The septuagenarian wooed the audience with her spellbinding bharatanatyam recital at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, on the fifth day of Nirantharam, a national music and dance festival held in the City.

Organised by ‘Sangeetha Sambhrama’, the event saw a large number of people from all walks of life turning up at the venue.  Vyjayanthimala began her recital with a keertane — Shivakaami Sundari in raag Jaganmohini and roopaka taala. Her expressions and involvement were much appreciated.

She then chose varnam in raag Jhalavarali, set to aadi taala. The composition Kama Shatakoti Sundara by Veene Sheshanna, in praise of Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, showcased her stamina and acting prowess.

Later, she performed to Narayan­atheertha’s  Tharangini. Her concluding piece was Mangalam Jayamangalam, a kriti by Purandaradasa in raag Suruti. Her proficiency and love for the art was evident throughout the performance. She maintained a smiling face and looked fresh till the end of the performance.

Kathak dancer Vyjayanthi Kashi said she was moved by the recital. “While people are scared to walk at the age of 70, she dared to dance on stage for hours. She has a strong foundation because of her incessant practice. Her performance was full of passion and dedication. Her sincerity towards the art was reflected in her performance, she said.

“She didn’t compromise on her steps, turns, music and make-up. She is an inspiration for me and I take strength from her while juggling with dancing and acting. Each part of her performance was a lesson for every dance enthusiast,” she said.

Vyjayanthimala was supported by Gayatri Shashidhar on nattuvangam, Anahitha Ravindran on vocal, M Shaktivelu on mridangam, Anathakrishnan on violin and Chitanya Kumar on flute. Before her performance, Ganesh and Kumaresh presented a grand violin duet which was well received. A variety of entertainment programmes by differently-able children also caught the attention of the audience.

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