Star watching: The Continuum Series… Future Presented
- Pratima Sagar, Hyderabad

June 9, 2012

As the guru fluently and smoothly played the cymbals in her hands, her rhymes seemed to seamlessly thread through the anklet bells of a young dancer, whose silver toes sashayed over the stage space arresting my gaze, the poetry of Jayadeva lilting across the amphitheatre after a brisk pure dance ingress. “Pralaya payodhi jale,” Krithika Varsha opened up aesthetically to render the many forms of the lord, a sprightly choreography of her guru Ananda that let a pattern of pure and expressional dance unfold.

Krithika Varsha

Sowmya Sridhar
Shankarananda Kalakshetra of Ananda Shankar Jayant has come up with this brilliant concept of introducing promising young artistes as solo and duet performers once every quarter so as to bring newer talents to the fore.

The Continuum Series... Future Presented, is Shankarananda Kalakshetra’s latest creative initiative. This series of programmes to be held once a quarter, will present the future torch   bearers of the performing arts. Each programme will showcase a dedicated and committed young artiste in dance and music, whose talent, we believe, will continue to engage the future art connoisseur,” says Ananda, striving to encourage the arts among a techie generation.

She adds, "There are many learners of the performing arts out there, but not many continue with the art forms, because there is a dearth of performing space and performing opportunities for the next generation. The Continuum Series... Future Presented, will provide young, promising and committed artistes a professional platform, where they will be viewed by a discerning audience with feedback and review, so that these artistes can take their art forward. The most important criteria is the artistes’ commitment in staying with the learnt art form. This series will also expose these young talents to a mature audience that might take them forward with other programmes and mentoring.
As the summer moonbeam graciously revealed this young Bharatanatyam dancer in her twenties, the audience could picture her as the Malavika or Alarmel Valli of tomorrow! Krithika did master the methods, and her years of practice and persistence can only mature to perfection in times to come. Papanasam Sivan’s Nattakurunji Varnam let the dancer explore the emotions of a Mugdha Nayika who is tenderly in love with none other than the Lord of the Universe, Nataraja.  Krithika danced in surrender to the dancing god, quite metaphorical of herself dedicated to dance.

Whiffs of fresh air brought down the white flowers of Palaash on this simple open air theatre of Saptaparni surrounded by a green cover and amidst it was this youthful dancer playing on stage, “Krishna nee begane baaro,” re-living Yashoda and her mystical little Krishna. The Mohana Kalyani tillana let Krithika harmonize completely with her orchestral support rendered by vocalist Venu Madhav, percussionist Balasubramaniam and violinist Sai Kumar.

With clear body line and stances, articulate hand gestures and expressions, this tall and slender doe eyed dancer does carry the potential to reign over the stage one day, but what I see now matters much more - her humbleness in treating the chosen themes and her understated elegance in exploring those established choreographic compositions of her guru… not to forget, the seeker I see in Krithika.

The other young talent featured was musician Sowmya Sridhar, student of the Hyderabad Sisters, who sang beautifully.

Pratima Sagar is an artist and cultural commentator based in Hyderabad. She was dance critic for The Hindu for six years, before venturing into publishing. As, founder director of Bhairava Publications, Pratima Sagar has edited, designed and published coffee table books and catalogues based on performing and visual arts, archeology and ancient arts, apart from producing documentary films on tribal and folk arts of India and Africa. Pratima is presently pursuing her doctoral program in 'ethnology of temple sculptors and dancers' from Folk Culture Department of the Central University, Hyderabad.