SAI Nrityotsava 15

August 23, 2010

SAI Nrityotsava by its monthly celebrations, has carved a niche on the cultural wall of Bangalore. The fifteen month old festival has been attracting artists from even beyond the shores of the country. A platform, where the established and the talented, now create together in harmony, an audio and visual imagery. The spectators are equally fascinated by this coming together of artists of different genre of dance art and age group. Seva Sadan in Malleshwaram, with its own aura of simplicity has once again been the venue of this festival on the 1st of August 2010. The stage craft needs a special mention. For the past three festivals, the backdrops have been different, interesting and seemed specially designed for the festival. The "Aane Netti Pattu" that's so symbolic of Kerala was the centre piece. A visual art complementing the performing arts.

Sangeetha Anantha Narayan
Guru Geetha Anantha Narayan, who did the nattuvangam, led her team with Bharathi Venugopal for vocal support, Bangalore S Tulasiram on the mridangam and Bhaskar on the flute, in support of her daughter/disciple Sangeetha Anantha Narayan's Bharatanatyam recital, commencing with a Ganesha Stuti in Raga Naatai, Aadi Tala and concluding with a bhajan of Goswamy Tulasidas "Thumaka Chalata Ramachandra." Sangeeta interspersed a Varnam "Ninne nera nammi naanura" in Raga Attana, Tala Adi. Her invocatory number set the evening to a spiritually charged mood and her abhinaya in the next two numbers were elegant, subtle and communicative. Meandering through the changing emotions from that of a devotee seeking the love and compassion of Lord Krishna to the cries of child Rama and the motherly tenderness of Kausalya, Sangeeta drew the attention of the audience.
Anjana as the princess & co-dancers
Sweta, Nishant & Shamika as Usha, Soorya & Sandhya
Articulate and S.A.I presented Natya Series-2 "PARIJATA" in a series dedicated to narrate through the medium of dance, the puranic stories behind the medicinal plants that are native to India. Enticed into love by the handsome sun god, an innocent princess in the bloom of her youth weaved dreams of romantic time with her first love. On seeing the sun god not coming to her on the following day after having promised her to do so, and seeing him on the following days in the company of Usha, Sandhya and a host of other beautiful ladies, the princess feels dejected and let down. In anger and frustration she immolates herself and on her wishes, her friends bury her ashes in the shades of the deep forest. From the ashes arose a beautiful plant that bloomed in the night with flowers as tender as the princess and the fragrance wafted through the forest. On the first ray of sunlight, the tree shed its flowers as though hurt by the sun god. Parijatha was that lovely tree.

Nishanth Aravindakshan as the Sun God in his mortal form, Anjana as the princess who turned into the Parijatha tree, Shamika as Usha, Shweta Venkatesh as Sandhya along with Laksha, Adithi V Rao, Vidisha and Ashita as the friends of the princess including Anagha, Chaitra, Anusha, Supriya, Meghana, Samhita and Raksha as the seven horses, did an excellent job and lived the character that they portrayed. Pawan Kumar, who performed as the Sun God, choreographed the dance feature to the idiom of Mohiniattam. The fact that Bharatanatyam dancers picked up the basic nuances of Mohiniattam and justified the art form apart from performing a beautiful ballet, was highly appreciated by the audience.

Bhuvana G Prasad, disciple and daughter of Guru Sita G Prasad, commenced her Bharatanatyam with a Thodaya mangalam "Jaya Janaki Ramana" in Ragamalika and talamalika. Bhuvana chose a different approach in its presentation in her second dance number. Oothukadu Venkatasubba Iyer's composition reflecting the impact that the music from Krishna's flute had on the trees and plants, the animals and birds and even on the men and women of Brindavan, was set to the music of ritual Kavadi. "Nindranda Mayele" though a strong lyrical one, did not impress the audience. A grammar that did not fit into the language of Bharatanatyam. Bhuvana's concluding item, a Thillana in Mohana Kalyani raga and Adi Tala in praise of Lord Shanmugha, a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman, was executed with finesse.

Bhuvana G Prasad
Uvika Aravind
Uvika Aravind, disciple of Guru Sunanda Nair, offered her obeisance to Lord Ganesha in her opening dance "Adbhuta Narthanam." Set in Gambhira Natai raga and Eka Tala, the item extolled that this elephant headed God who also dances, is the one who frees man from the cycle of birth and death. The mid number in her recital was an ode to that supreme energy, Mahashakthi. She is the cosmic power, the force of nature, the kinetic energy in every movement of this universe. She, the one who manifests in different form as the energy principle, is the one that demands our submission at her divine feet. The item was set to raga Gowla and Adi Tala that was performed with elegance. The concluding dance number was in praise of Shiva. "Mahadeva Shambho" in Raga Revati and Adi tala, though an oft seen repertoire of dancers, was made very interesting by the weave of Karanas and Angaharas in the tapestry depicting the cosmic dancer Nataraja.
Sreelakshmi, Minu Mohan and Sharmila Gupta
Sreelakshmi, Minu Mohan and Sharmila Gupta, disciples of Guru Padmini Ramachandran, performed a pushpanjali with Ganesha Vandana, an item glorifying the various deeds of Krishna in "Jagan mohanane Krishna" and a Thillana in pancharatna with gethu. First of all, the recorded music used by this trio was of very poor quality and their control over the technicality of dancing was measurable. The friendly duel in the concluding item drew only the screech of the metal chairs against the concrete floor than applauses as the audience began to leave the auditorium ahead of the Mangalam. The moral of the story is, do not take the audience for granted.