Natya Arpanaa - An enticing union of dance, rhythm and music  
- Sumi Krishnan, Sydney  
July 4, 2008 

Saiva Manram Inc has proved it again by bringing one of the talented young from India, Lavanya Ananth, "the Nadana Mamani," a Pearl of a Dancer, who was accompanied by an equally talented entourage of live artists, here at the Ryde Civic centre on the 18th May 2008 for its presentation of Natya Arpanaa. Saiva Manram Inc.'s second concert series for the year, Natya Arpanaa was received by a full house of audience. 

Lavanya Ananth, is a disciple of gurus Rajaratnam Pillai and KJ Sarasa. Her performances during the recent Marghazi (December) music festival took place in front of jam-packed auditoriums, and earned her rave reviews. Her CV includes a dauntingly impressive list of awards and titles, including the highly prestigious Yuva Puraskar award from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama.  

The concert starting with the invocatory item dedicated to Lord Ganapathy was followed by a crisp and catchy Shiva Kavuthvam, where Murali Parthasarathy, the vocalist, showed his versatility capturing the mood of each raga within a few phrases in a ragamalika and the mridangist, M S Sukhi played a Talamalika showcasing Lavanya's youthful choreography.  

The keerthanam set to Papanasam Sivan's composition on Lord Muruga, preceded by a theermanam on "Om ShaRaVaNa BhaVa" was yet again novel and innovative, the play between abhinaya and rhythm taking maturity in this piece building up to the Varnam. The Varnam with a wonderful costume change set the stage where Lavanya showed her artistry by wistfully depicting a Nayika's love for Lord Krishna supported notably by the equally wistful sounds of the violin by young Eashwar Ramakrishnan. Dare I say waltzing in the ambience of Ragam Charukesi in a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman "Kurall Oothum" Lavanya brought to life this traditional piece which effortless energetic footwork yet beautiful contained abhinaya. 

The pieces that followed were impressive, the choreography in Bharatiyar’s song "Shakthi Koothu" was unique, the "aarmugum thaalaattu" to the touching violin by Eashwaran, set to Ragam Neelambari was heart wrenching.  

However the crowning glory for the evening was the Swarajathi showing the altercation between Naadam, Thaalam and Nritya. The nattuvangam by Neela Sukanya blossoming within the conversations held by all artists and the dancer, captivated the attention of the audience until its perfect synchronized finish.