Saman'way' to go...
- Veena Basavarajaiah, Bangalore
Photos: Jyotsna B Rao

May 24, 2011

Samanvay festival, a three day dance festival held on the 15th, 16th and 17th of April 2011 at Seva Sadan, Bangalore, featured some of the best performers of Kuchipudi and other classical dance forms of India. Veena Murthy Vijay, an exponent in Kuchipudi and the recipient of Kempegowda Award organized this festival featuring classical dance in its glory with young, upcoming and also experienced performers.

Anuradha Vikranth displayed poise and elegance as she painted the image of Krishna playing his flute in her solo "Kulaloodhum Azagha Kanna" in ragam Charukesi. This Bharatanatyam dancer was light on her feet and enveloped the entire stage with a spring in her every step. Following this was a Kuchipudi solo by Shama Krishna who enticed the audience as a Saadharana nayika who takes pride in her beauty and exhibits it like a plumage of a dancing peacock. She adorns herself with ornaments, clothes, braiding her hair and gloats of her gait that leaves men mesmerized. These two dancers trained in different forms moved on to present a jugalbandhi, a partnership displaying the similarities and uniqueness of both these dance forms. Anuradha and Shama play the role of gopis, mothers and devotees inviting Lord Krishna into their homes and hearts with "Baaro Krishnayya." In this abhinaya piece, they also laid emphasis on the technique and neatness of each form and through incorporating karanas into their individual choreography, they wove lightness and inventiveness into classical dance.

Chennai based Sirisha Shashank presented a Bharatanatyam solo with a Mallari, a piece circumambulating the temple rituals and processions. She also presented a padam choreographed by renowned dancer Priyadarsini Govind "Ethanai Sonnaalum," where a mother gives a word of advice to her young daughter who keeps running away from her husband's home reacting to trivial matters. The subtlety of the relationship and the underlying social message was sensitively explored and conveyed by Sirisha.
Shama & Anuradha
Prahalada Charitham
Sangeetha Phaneesh
The unique performance of the evening was Prahlada Charitham performed by the Bhagavatha Mela from the Kuchipudi grama, a form of Yakshagaanam that has movements of Kuchipudi embedded in it. In this dance theatre form, the narrator briefs the story while each character is introduced and plays a definite role. Live music with songs and dialogues set in Telugu brought the story of Bhaktha Prahalada alive.

The other performances of the evening included Odissi by Madhulita Mahopatra and a Kuchipudi performance by Sangeetha Phanesh, a prodigy in her early teens who presented a Thyagaraja krithi displaying her talent and energy. This disciple of Veena Murthy Vijay gave a performance that was a glimpse of her promising future.

Veena Basavarajaiah is a Bangalore based solo dancer and choreographer who is trained in Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu, Ballet and Contemporary dance. She has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Angika Dance Company, Attakkalari, Kalari Academy, Gati Forum, Nritarutya, Natyantharanga & Yana Lewis Dance Co. She has performed on various platforms across India, UK and Europe. She is the recipient of Special Mention Young Achievers Award in 2007 and also a paneled artist of the Indian council for Cultural relations.