Delightful recital by Prateeksha

October 8, 2016

D.A. Prateeksha, barely ten years old with an excellent stage presence, kept the audience spellbound with her graceful and delightful Bharatanatyam recital in Rani Seethai Hall, Chennai, dancing first in the series of Thejas ITC Mangaldeep Bala Natya Utsav on 2nd October 2016.

A disciple of Murugashankari Leo Prabhu, Prateeksha commenced the recital with the famous invocatory krithi of Oothukkadu Venkatakavi, 'Sri Vigna Rajam Bhaje' in Gambhiranattai, kandachapu. Her abhinaya for "Sevitha surendra mahaniya gunasilam" meaning "The one who is worshipped by Indra and other celestial beings" was well appreciated by the audience.

Prateeksha next took up the alarippu in tisra ekam, followed by Shambu Natanam by Patanjali Muni in Kanda Nadai. Shambu Natanam deals with the various facets of the cosmic dancer and his tandava, mentioning, among other things, destruction of Manmatha, the god of love and destroying the Tripura. Here, Prateeksha was greatly applauded for her energetic portrayal, depiction of different karanas with elan and her striking poses. Her execution of jathis was immaculate.

The next item to follow was one of the masterpieces of Muthuswamy Dikshitar "Kanchathalayadaakshi Kamakshi Kamalamanohari" denoting the name of the raga itself. This was a delectable piece, wonderfully executed by the young dancer. Her abhinaya for the line "Kunjara gamane mani manditha manjula charane" and the first line of the charanam "Raka sashivadane" meaning "the Goddess with the elephant like gait and beautifully adorned feet and radiant moon-like countenance" was enchanting.

Prateeksha concluded the recital with a Pancharaga thillana of the famous doyen Dandayudapani Pillai, commencing with Hindolam for the major portion and ending with Mohanam, Vasantha, Kanada and Kalyani. One remembers this thillana, having been sung by Sudha Raghunathan way back and Prateeksha did full justice to it. Prateeksha, even at this young age, exhibited her prowess in nritha, nrithya and natya and enthralled the audience with her vibrant performance. She has a long way to go, and in the years to come, she would be a great asset to her guru and an artiste to be remembered.

The performance was richly embellished by the vocal support of Kaushik Champakesan, percussionist Parthasarathy and violinist Thirumarugal Ganesh Kumar. Murugashankari wielded the cymbals very ably.