Enchanting performance by Lasya group at Nrithya Vaibhava
- Kalaa Rasika, Bangalore

February 6, 2012

The Lasya group, comprising of three well accomplished dancers of Bangalore - Radhika Ramanujan, Harini Srikanth and Sangeetha Punekar - disciples of Guru Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran, performed in the ‘Nrithya Vaibhava’ series of Ananya GML Cultural Academy in Seva Sadan, Bangalore on the 27th Jan 2012. The trio commenced their performance with the traditional Mallari in ragam Nattai and Khanda triputa talam. This was well choreographed highlighting the different geometrical aspects of Bharatanatyam. As the name of the group suggests, all the dancers were graceful and poised. This was followed by a krithi on Lord Ganesha in ragam Vitapi, a brisk piece very aptly presented by the trio depicting the different forms of the elephant headed God. The artistes could have concentrated a little on the spacing aspects to enhance the presentation.

The next item was an Alarippu showcasing the nritta expertise of the artistes. The synchronization among the artistes, brisk movements and neat adavus were eye catching. This was followed by “Sri Rama Saraswathi” on Goddess Lalitha. They started with a short shloka in praise of Goddess Annapoorneshwari and Mahishasuramardhini.  This gave an aesthetic start to the kriti. The fight between the demon Mahisha and the Goddess Durga was well visualized and presented. The kriti brought out the fine abhinaya capabilities of the performers.

After the group performance, each of the artistes presented a solo piece showcasing their best abhinaya abilities. Sangeetha performed a Srinagara padam in ragam Madhuvanthi where the nayika expresses her longing for her six faced Lord Muruga to her sakhi. The yearning to see her lord, the feeling when she sees him on the peacock and the love they shared when they were together, were well depicted. With little more emphasis on nayika bhava, the item can reach its pinnacle.



This was followed by a famous Dasara pada “Baro Krishnaiyya” in Ragamalika performed by Harini. The devotee expressing her desire for Krishna to reside in her heart and her joy in being with Krishna, be it in dressing him up, playing with him or mesmerized by the music from his flute were well portrayed. She was lively and pleasant. However the episode depicting the bhakthi of Kanakadasa could have been choreographed differently to match the otherwise brilliant piece.

After enjoying the bhakthi sringara, Radhika presented the evergreen Jayadeva astapadi "Radhika tava virahe Keshava....." in ragam Vaasanthi. The piece started with the sakhi describing the state of Radha who has been deprived of Krishna’s love.  The artiste was able to hold the mood all through the performance. She was at her best in portraying the state of mind Radha was in due to her separation from her lord; where the garland which once adorned her now turned out to be like a net; the chandan paste which was to cool her, now has become like poison; and the separation being so unbearable, she is ready to give up her life. She was able to justify both the roles of sakhi and Radha well though at some places it seemed like she constrained her emotions.

Sangeetha Punekar, Harini Srikanth and Radhika Ramanujan
The trio came back together to present the last piece of the evening, a thillana in ragam Madhuvanthi, a brisk item showcasing the crispness of nritta. It was a neat and synchronized choreography. The energy levels were high and each of them did justice to the wonderful music. It was indeed a treat to watch the trio perform and curtains came down with a Mangalam saluting the protector, Vishnu. The music to which the trio performed was par excellence. DS Srivatsa’s soulful singing uplifted the show. Sai Venkatesh’s lighting added colour to the performance.