- Jayashree Sundaresan, London 
Photos: Sujith

September 26, 2008 
Organized in London by Kalasagara UK on 3rd Sept 2008, Nivedanam was a truly enchanting Bharatanatyam performance by four dancers who have found the time, not to speak of determination, to pursue this art form despite being busy otherwise with their careers. Three of them are bankers and the youngest is studying in University.

The evening started with Nandichol Sivadhyanam, an invocation to Lord Shiva, the cosmic dancer. The dance spoke to the technical versatility of the four dancers who wowed the audience with perfectly poised poses of Lord Shiva combined with precise footwork. The invocation with superb formations set the mood for the next piece, Janaki Ramana, gracefully presented by Anupama Muthukrishnan. Her 'Bhakti Bhava' showing Shabari's deep love and devotion for Rama and her abhinaya showing Lord Rama's compassion, valour and charm through the various episodes were outstanding.

The Tamil Varnam in Ragam Natakurinji, praising Lord Shiva was again a great choreography combining rhythm and melody. The dancers displayed beautiful synchronization in their adavus, changing positions and in covering stage space.  Srinidhi Raghavan's technical brilliance and stage presence had me transfixed. Her part of the varnam enacting Shiva and Parvatiís dice game was dramatic in its portrayal. The contrast of Parvati's feminine grace and the description of Shiva, bold and strong were remarkable and done with great command. In the next item too, Yashoda's love for little Krishna was superbly enacted by Srinidhi in 'Chinna Chinna Padam' where she showed her mastery of abhinaya. 

In 'Asaindaadum Mayil,' a Padam in praise of Lord Krishna, Janani Harrichandiran showed agility and precision in describing Krishna's omnipresence while Vinita Venkatesh showed herself as accomplished in conveying the divine union between Radha and Krishna in her piece 'Kuru Yadu Nandana,' an Ashtapadi by Jayadeva.

The concluding piece, a Thillana in Brindavan Saranga raga, was an absolute delight. The fruit of the hours of hard work and dedication put in by the dancers were in full evidence in their effortless performance of a very difficult combination of adavus and sculptured poses woven into delightful patterns throughout the piece. It was an awe-inspiring performance indeed.

'Nivedanam' at Patidar House was a memorable evening and credit goes to Usha Raghavan, the Director of Kalasagara UK, the sponsors of the programme for organizing yet another brilliant show. Art lovers must indeed be thankful to her for bringing to London stage, excellent dance shows that are otherwise a rarity.

Jayashree Sundaresan is an avid lover of Bharatanatyam and is herself a dancer.