A treat to watch  
- Lakshmi Kannan, Chennai  
e-mail: lakshmivn@yahoo.com 
April 13, 2007 

The recent performance of Madhuvanthi Sekar at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, commenced with a traditional invocatory piece in raga Nattai set to Adi tala, followed by 'Va Varam Arul Ganapathiye' in praise of Lord Ganesha, which was exciting.  

The Angayarkanni Varnam of Lalgudi G Jayaraman, the central piece of the recital in ragamalika set to Adi Tala was unique. It was in praise of Goddess Meenakshi and elaborated the episodes of her digvijayam, her marriage with the lord, Markandeyan's story and so on. Digvijayam that was elaborated in the second jathi was a treat to watch. It gave ample evidence of guru Himaja's choreographic excellence. None other than the vocalist Latha Ramchand could sing this piece so well that all the expressions of the dancer gelled with the imagination and tuning capability of the composer. This item remained not only an acid test for the singer and the dancer but also for the mridangist Thanjai A Chandrasekaran who proved his worth in this item.   

In the Padam 'Bho Shambho,' Madhuvanthi explicitly demonstrated the scene in the Tharukavanam where the sages send the udukkai, deer, tiger, elephant, snake, fire and Muyalakan the rakshasa to Lord Shiva who adorns them on himself and destroys the rakshasa and puts him under his feet and dances the Ananda Thandava.  

Kilikanni in senchurutti, Madhuraashtakam in mishra Peelu and Javali were other interesting numbers in the post varnam session. Tillana of Lalgudi G Jayaraman in raga Mohana Kalyani, Adi Tala, was scintillating. Madhuvanthi did full justice to all the items that she chose to present and thanks to the guru, Himaja Ramsharan, for her dedicated service to this art form. Violinist Sikkil Balasubramanian, flautist P V Ramana, make up artistes Gayathri Swaminathan and Chitra Subramanian, costumer and dress designer Sivakumar of  D S Aiyyelu also deserve due credits. Chief guest Krishnakumari Narendran appreciated and blessed guru Himaja and the disciple Madhuvanthi as well. 

Lakshmi Kannan is a Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancer/teacher who runs her own school Jathiswaraalaya Academy of Dance and Music in Chennai.