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An exuberant treat



CAPTIVATING Sridevi and her team put up remarkable performances

The Indian heritage, mythology and spectacle were captured in a captivating manner and the packed audience at the Khimcha auditorium of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan enjoyed each and every moment of a Bharatanatya group recital presented by a highly talented NRI dancer-choreographer Sridevi Ajai Tirumalai of Boston, USA. Sridevi, trained under Gurus Padmini Ramachandran and Narmada of Bangalore and Radha of Chennai has undoubtedly blossomed into an artiste of outstanding artistic abilities. She has been successfully imparting dance training under her school Natyanjali. Her excellently trained dancer-disciples Ahalya Kodali, Jyotsna Vinayak, Prerana Purohit, Arya Palakurthy, Shivani Srivatsava and Krina Shah stole the show with their remarkable performances.

Pushpanjali and Ganesha Stuti ("Gajavadana paahi maam", Hamsadhwani) was auspicious and augured well for the ensuing dance treat. The following exposition of the most familiar Swati Tirunal's ragamalika krithi "Bhavayami Raghuramam" was a joy to behold. It is the epitome of Ramayana. Fine music, tasteful costumes, well-researched sequences based on the sahitya available and well-rehearsed composition of dance added up to the wholesomeness of presentation. All of it was much suited as much to the nobility of the theme of Ramayana as to the tenets of choreography based on Bharatanatya and the space of the Khimcha auditorium.

With perfect ardha mandalas, varied adavus and quick change of roles and movements, the dancers gave a thrilling display of kaleidoscopic patterns, coming together, dissolving and forming again into another macro design. The bold relief postures were just enough, both mathematically and conceptually. The chittaiswaras of each segment of the ragamalika composition were translated into delightful nritta sequences and thus Sridevi's choreography could strike an even balance between nritta, nrithya and abhinaya.

Likewise, in the delineation of the popular Purandaradasa keerthana "Chandrachooda" addressed to Lord Shiva, the episodes of Amritha Manthana, Kaama Dahana and Markandeya Vijaya were neatly etched. The Tamil pada "Kaliyuga varadan" set to Brindavani raga brought out the greatness of Lord Subramanyeshwara. The recital concluded with a tillana done with joyous abandon. The Panchabhoota mangala was a treat.

Sridevi Ajai Tirumalai excelled as an efficient nattuvanar. D.S. Srivatsa (vocal), Madhusudan (violin), Maheshswamy (flute) and Gurumurthy (mridanga) took it to higher planes of delight.

M. SURYA PRASAD

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