Captivating recital by Aishwarya Balasubramanian

January 18, 2016

Aishwarya Balasubramanian, formerly known as Aishwarya Narayanaswamy, gave a captivating recital under the aegis of Brahma Gana Sabha on the 13th of January 2016 at Sivagami Petachi Auditorium, Chennai, to a packed audience full of artistes, connoisseurs and critics. Aishwarya, a senior disciple of Guru Anitha Guha, commenced the recital with a "Shivakama Sundari Ashtakam" in Ragamalika and Talamalika, consisting of ragas Hamsanadham, Revathi, Karnaranjani and Sindhubhairavi. After the impressive start, she took up the main item, the most poignant pancharatna, fourth in order, "Kana Kana Rucira" in Varali by Saint Tyagaraja, for an elaborate treatment. Aishwarya's abhinaya and nrithya, particularly for the verses,

"Tala tala manu mukha gala galigina Seetha kulukuchu ora kannulanu juche ninnu
Saapathni mathayau suruchi che Karna sulamaina mata veenula surukkana thalaka sreeha rini dhyanimchi sukhimpagaleda yatu
Mrugamada lalaama subhana taala Varajataayu moksha phalada pavamaana suthudu needu mahima delpa Seetha Devi valachi sokka leda? Reethi ninnu…"

came out very powerfully and excellent choreography of Anitha Guha for these verses, were beautifully danced by Aishwarya, which drew repeated applauses. The audience was spellbound both by the choreography and rendition by Aishwarya. The beauteous description of Lord Rama in "Tala tala manu mukha gala galigina...," Prahladha episode in "Saapathni mathayau suruchi...." and Jatayu moksham in "Mrugamada lalaama subhana taala Varajataayu moksha....." as well as Anjaneya describing the mahimai of Rama in Asoka Vanam to Sita and Sita blushing on hearing this were brought out beautifully in abhinaya and sancharis. Throughout the central piece, there was not a single dull moment.

Aishwarya took up next a surdas bhajan, "Maiya mori, mein nahi maakan kayo" - My dear mother, I have not stolen the butter - explaining logically that he (Krishna) was busy from morning till evening, herding the cattle in the fields and questioned mother Yasodha, how could he have found the time to steal butter. Krishna then went on to say that he is such a small child and could not have reached the butter kept very high. Krishna pretends to be hurt and Yasodha is all tears and starts caressing little Krishna. Eventually, with a mischievous smile, so characteristic of him, Krishna says "Maine hi maakan kayo" meaning thereby, "I only stole the butter." Aishwarya excelled in abhinaya for this surdas bhajan and the audience was equally in raptures.

She was ably supported by Kaniyal Hariprasad, one of the most coveted male singers for Bharatanatyam, percussion by Ram Shankar Babu and violin by Easwar Ramakrishnan, who enriched the performance admirably. Balakrishnan wielded the cymbals powerfully but he could have done well to avoid increasing the decibel level at the end of each jathi which to some extent mars the aesthetics. Nattuvangam was otherwise effective.

Aishwarya has carved a niche for herself both nationally and internationally and Guru Anitha Guha must be proud to have Aishwarya as her disciple.