Sincere recital by Hiten Mistry
- Anita Shanmughanathan
Photos: Monisha Chakravarthy

January 16, 2011

The AIMA festival conducted annually at the Varasiddhi Vinayar temple showcases talented young dancers from different parts of the world, giving them the spatial ambience to feel the gravity of their historical endowment and the unique aesthetic substance of natya.

As music pervades the air against the background of ongoing nrityaarchana, the audience is made sensitive to the ritual foundation of Bharatanatyam mingled with the excitement and anticipation of what is to follow and on the 24th of December 2010, Hiten Mistry from London did not disappoint. In his technique, both formative and expressive, he exuded sincerity, honesty and hard work. He made his presence to the melody of raga Kalavati and the poetry of saint-poet Tulsidas in the invocation to Lord Ganesha, 'Gayiye Ganapathy.' Hiten eased with confidence into the Nrutyopaharam addressed to Lord Krishna, a composition of Thurayur Rajagopala Sharma, infusing it with the longing of a devotee to be one with the Lord. The second half showcased his innate potential as a sensitive artist in the moments of piercing intensity depicting Krishna's childhood.
The intensity of energy ingrained in the nrutyopaharam unfortunately diminished in the Keertanam on Devi composed by Madurai Muralidharan in ragam chakravam and misra chapu talam. The bhava failed to create the imagery of the powerful Devi and the expressiveness of the movement lacked conviction. This was followed by a poem by Pappu Venugopala Rao in raga Kharaharapriya composed especially to express the feelings of a Drishta Nayaka, pleading with the heroine to be accepted. Hiten's sincere and endearing approach required a deeper understanding of the suggested meaning to better bring out the sthaayi bhava. The conclusion with Mand tillana of Lalgudi Jayaraman was executed with precision befitting an artist of immense potential. The well conducted orchestral support was led by Guru Pushkala Gopal on the nattuvangam, Arun Gopinath vocal, Jayashankar on the mrudangam, MS Kannan on the violin, and Sunil Kumar on the flute.

Anita Shanmughanathan, a Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, teacher and scholar is a disciple of the Dhananjayans.