Nrityantara festival

Dance reviews

Nrityantara festival
Nrityantara festival

The Shivapriya School conducted Nrityantara, an annual dance festival, last week with Bharath­anatya, Kuchipudi, Yakshagana, Odissi and Cont­­e­m­porary dance.

Last Sunday the festival opened with a Yakshagana performance. Sahana Bhat, student of Shankar Balekudru presented Krishna Sandhana in the Badaguthittu style. With only two characters (Krishna and Duryodhana) it was too brief, but the melodious music, interesting dialogue and colourful costumes caught the attention of connoisseurs.

Senior dancer Sharmeela Mukherjee presented an Odissi dance, along with her 7 students who are part of the Sanjali dance ensemble. Pallavi was proof of their good training and practice. In the Abhinay they presented a few episodes like Gajendra Moksha, Dyutha, Draupadi Vastrapaharana and Narasimha Avathar. Naturally Sharmila Mukherjee was the main attraction and her students also performed well.

Gururaj, who gave a Kuchipudi recital, is a disciple of Vyjayanthi Kashi, a well known dancer. He opened with Naandi followed with the “Neela Megha.” In the Tharanga he danced on the bronze plate customarily – which was very brief – and concluded with a Shivasthuthi. With some more training and stage experience he will be able to reach great heights.

Curtains came down on this year’s Nrityantara with a Bharathanatya recital by the Bharathanjali dance ensemble from Nrityakala Mandira.

They opened their recital not with a usual invocatory piece, but with a devotional composition. In this keertana “Vidulaku Mrokkeda” Saint Tyagaraja salutes the enlightened souls of music and “Saptaswara” (seven notes) and “Naada.” The dancers’ movements were clear and precise with neat foot work. They went on to the piece de resistance of the recital – a Subramanya Stuthi of L R Lakshmi, in ragamalika. Changing their roles in quick succession, they performed with ease and assurance.

After a Shivastuthi of Tanjore Shankara Iyer, they concluded with a “Sarvadeva Namaskara.” It was beautifully choreographed by B Banumathi and impressively performed by the young dancers.

Dance fest

“Ananya Samarpana,” a three-day cross border festival of classical dance was held last week under the aegis of the Ananya GML Cultural Academy of Bengaluru and Samarpana – the Asian Festival of Classical Dance in Singapore.

Divya Ramesh, who gave the inaugural recital, is a student of Gayathri Sriram of Shrutilaya, Singapore, and has performed her Arangetram in 2013. She has also performed in places like California and Chennai, apart from Singapore. She is also being guided by Minal Prabhu, senior dance teacher from Bengaluru.

The invocatory Pushpanjali in Abhogi showed Divya Ramesh in fine fettle. She chose a varna of Dr Shankar in ragamalika, which was the story of “Agni.” In the “Sanchari,” she narrated Agni (fire) as an ornament of Shiva and he used Agni to kill Tripurasura, Manmatha’s arrow, etc. Divya’s laya is faultless and she executed the jathies with ease and she will be able to bring depth with some more stage experience and higher lessons.

The Pada in Mohana (G Gurumurthy) was on Swaha, wife of Agni and concluded with a thillana in Shankarabharana. Divya Ramesh is sure to make a mark as she matures in age and no doubt has a bright future. Guru Minal Prabhu and Gayatri Sriram on natuvanga, Balasubramanya Sharma on vocal, G Gurumurthy on mridanga, Pradeshachar on violin and Prasanna Kumar on the rhythm pad – gave inspiring support from the wings.

Lacks flavour

The second performance was Mohiniyatta by Lakshmi Viswanathan. She has learnt bharathanatya and mohiniyattams from a very young age. After a brief stint at Houston (Texas), she continued her training under Rathna Kumar and is part of the Dharani School of Performing Arts ensemble. She has already performed in places like Hungary, Germany and Chidambaram. Lakshmi commenced her programme with a Ganesha Stuthi, remover of obstacles, which was in the Samanthamalari.

The main item of her programme was a varna in Dwijavanthi raga, which describes Nayika’s love for Lord Krishna. She also presented a pada (Varika Varika Sakhi) and a thillana in Bageshree. It seemed as if Lakshmi Viswan­athan is still evolving and short of an authentic flavour.

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