Bangalore's Kirti Ramgopal dances with untiring vitality and fervor  
- Malathi Iyengar, Los Angeles 
January 19, 2008 

Kirti Ramgopal recently offered a Bharatanatyam performance at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore. This was presented as a part of 'Rasa Sanje,' a dance festival aptly titled and organized by guru Radha Sridhar. The festival over the years has provided much needed platform to the aspiring dancers.  

Kirti Ramgopal, having studied the art of Bharatanatyam from celebrated gurus Padmini Ramachandran, A Lakshman, and Priyadarshini Govind,  was accompanied by Pulikeshi Kasthuri on nattuvangam, Nandakumar Unnikrishnan on vocal, Harsha Samaga on mridangam, and Nataraj Murthy on violin.  

Kirti's dance concert included four pieces: Andal Kautuvam, Chatushra Alarippu, KN Dandayudhapani Pillai's Navaragamalika Varnam, and a Tulasidas Bhajan. 

Throughout the evening, Kirti showcased a neat technique and a glorious arai mandi (deep plie position) essential to Bharatanatyam form to depict iconographic images. An intelligent dancer, Kirti had planned and choreographed the narratives in the Varnam imaginatively.  The treatment included feelings of intense love and devotion to lord Shiva. The segment 'Tamadam Eno' was beautifully portrayed to show delicate expressions of tempered viraha (longing) and abundant love for her lord.  Kirti's execution of theermanams was visually stunning to Pulikeshi's resonant nattuvangam. She immaculately carved a variety of geometrical shapes and lines as she glided through  the rhythmic passages. The pure dance sequences occasionally looked over loaded with the deep lunge steps but most often conveyed a sense of abandon and spontaneity.  

Kirti joyfully concluded with the popular Bhajan, Thumak Chalat Ramachandra, which brought out an endearing quietness to the performance.  

Guru Dandayudhapani Pillai's musical compositions are lyrical, majestic, and sport lilting melodies. Nandakumar with his rich baritone voice soared while delineating this stately Varnam. 

Malathi Iyengar is the artistic director of Rangoli Dance Company based in Los Angeles, California.