Annamayya Pada Nartana Shobha: 
Lasya Priya’s floral tribute to the stalwart saint-composer 

March 9, 2008 

A dance recital in Yakshagana Prabandha style - a traditional descriptive dance drama blended with beautiful lyrics, Alamelu Manga Mangalyaleela-Sringara Hela performed on 25 February at Ravindra Bharathi in Hyderabad by the dance school Lasya Priya under the aegis of Dr. Uma Rama Rao, captivated the audience. The program was conducted under the sponsorship of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) and Department of Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The performance describes the marriage and nuptials of the divine couple Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Alamelu Manga Thayar in a sequence through 36 Annamacharya’s compositions. It befitted to the purpose of bringing out the philosophy and thought of the great Vaggeyakara in dance form on the occasion of his 6th birth centenary year thus creating an audio-visual treat for the audience.

Srilekha Kocherlakota (USA) as Balaji, Madhavimala as Alamelu Manga and Suguna as Annamacharya excelled in their roles while Ragasudha Vinjamuri (UK) scored with her exuberant expressions as a prime sakhi of the Goddess. Soujanya, Malavika, Sindoora, Charvee and Anahita played other roles.

Aurally pleasing compositions like "Meluko Sringara Raya" in Malahari Raga, a wake-up call to the Lord describing him as the epitome of romance and playfulness, "Gandhamu pooseveley" in Kanada Raga describing the beauty and the glittering features of the Goddess, "Hari ninnu pilichey" in Kalyani Raga pleading the tender Goddess to shed her reticence and shyness and reconcile with the Lord, "Anganaleerey arathulu" and "Marali marali jaya mangalamu" in a lucid form offering a camphor tribute to the Lord and the Goddess, all performed by Ragasudha were impressive, while during "Yemani pogadumey" in Raga Sankarabharanam and "Akevo," Srilekha mesmerised with her deft display of romanticism. "Kulukaka nadavaro" by Suguna Acharya and her intermittent appearances throughout the performance touched the audience. 

Other attractions were "Yemoko" in Tilang Raga, "Paluku tenela talli" in Abheri Raga, "Kachukunnadadigo nee kanthudu" in Raga Kapi, "Inni rasula yuniki" in Raga Punnaga Varali, "Chittaja guruda neeku" and "Pidiketi talmbrala pellikoothuru." Both Adhyatmika  and Shringara aspects of Annamayya's Sankirtanas had been carefully chosen to highlight devotional and romantic rasas. 

The poduction was conceived, choreographed and directed by guru Uma Rama Rao supported by Dr. Rajya Lakshmi Seth. Excellent musical support added flavour to the program. The highlight was the splendid climax where the shloka, "Ye daivamu," recited on the lines of Vedic chants was enacted by all the dancers underscoring Annamayya's devotion to the Lord. Aum Namo Narayanaya echoed everywhere in the auditorium as the finale. 

Writer CS Rao, classical dance exponent Sumathy Koushal and Gnanapeeth Awardee Dr. C. Narayana Reddy were the distinguished guests among others.