In tune with style

In tune with style

In tune with style

The ‘Music of Bharatanatyam’, a talk by Sumitra Nitin, that was recently held at the Bangalore International Centre, was an informative session where the speaker threw light on the traditional music, which is an integral part of the dance recitals.

Explaining each aspect

of dance and the music that accompanies the dance recitals in great length, Sumitra also spoke about the artistes and the founders of these institutions.
The session had clips of dance, interviews and music by some very eminent artistes like Alarmel Valli, Vyjayanthimala Bali  and many others. The session also saw her performing

various abhinaya pieces as well as singing a few pieces to explain things better. “Many scholars and exponents of bharatanatyam have said that there is no dance without music and hence, many dancers prefer learning the music to better their performance. There are many dance compositions such as dhruva, jakkini, prabhanda, perani and the padam, which is the only original piece which is performed. The Tanjore Quartet who were trained by Muthuswami Dikshitar define the music of bharatanatyam and it is only due to their immense knowledge that they are recognised as the pillars of this style of dance,” she explains.

In another video snippet, actress and danseuse Vyjayanthimala Bali shares her experience of learning music from one of the direct descendants of the Tanjore Quartet and goes on to sing and enact one of the abhinaya pieces. She says that the lyrics are apt and is very important for the dancer to portray the expressions or bhava correctly.

In the second half of the session, she explains the role of the musicians and how important it is for the musicians to stay quiet when required. “Mridangam has always been a very important part of a bharatanatyam recital, but many insist on using the violin as well. Singing for a recital is a very tough task and many dancers require their singers to sing for hours together,” she adds.

Many young dancers as well as those who love the art were seen enjoying the session. Shamitha, a young dance student who was there at the session, says that she learnt a lot. “It was a great session and the best part was that we heard and saw many connoisseurs of the art today,” she says.