Sai Nrityotsav 39
- Chittaranjan Mothikhane

August 15, 2012

On August 1, 2012, the 39th edition of the Sai Nrityotsav series unfolded before the audience at Seva Sadan, Bangalore. The threat of a downpour by the delayed monsoon lingered around and yet rasikas challenged themselves to be part of this utsav, during Shravan, the season of religious festivals. Sai Nrityotsav is a three dimensional canvas where all the classical dance forms of India vibe among themselves to find space to exude their individual expression, but this evening seemed to have been dedicated to Bharatanatyam.

Shweta Venkatesh of Sai Arts International presented her group of very young and teenage artistes. Swathi, Smrithi S, Sneha, Smrithi R, Dwithi, Anushka, Janhavi, Adithi V Rao, Vaishnavi, Durga and Meghana started with a floral tribute to the presiding deity and the deities of eight cardinal directions concluding with an obeisance to Ganesha and ended with tillana of Dr. Balamuralikrishna in raga Brindavani. The repertoire weaved in between, a Ganesha kauthuvam, an alarippu and a composition on Shiva by Sri Krishnadasa “Jaya jaya Shambho.” The children exhibited a contagious enthusiasm and showed promising future as Bangalore’s stars on tomorrow’s dance horizon.

Disciples of Shweta Venkatesh

Shruti Mahadevan

Punctuated with crisp movements and statuesque freezes, expressions of motherly feeling towards a wayward daughter, Shruti Mahadevan sailed through in two dance numbers. The first one emphasized on nritta and the second abhinaya. Lord Shiva was extolled through Sri Thyagaraja’s composition “Shambho Mahadeva Sharanagatha” in Panthuvarali, giving glimpses of his leelas. Purandara Dasa’s “Buddhi maatu helidare kelabekamma” hari dasa sahithya set in ragamalika and adi tala was socially relevant, advising the daughter on her conduct on coming to her maternal home after a tiff at her marital home.

Divya Devaguptapu chose to showcase her complete comprehension of Bharatanatyam in just two very well chosen compositions. Mother Goddess Parashakthi was eulogized through Mahakavi Bharatiyar’s composition, as the one who is the embodiment of all that exists with life in this universe, she is verily the five elements that created the worlds, and who as one half of herself is Shiva himself thus taking the name of Ardhanareeshwari. Guru V P Dhananjayan’s choreography was pristinely presented in Ragamalika interspersed with jathis and swara passages. The second item was “Pashyati dishi dishi” from Jayadeva’s ashtapadi, the sakhi describing the impassioned state of Radha on being separated from her beloved Krishna. Desolate Radha sees Krishna’s presence everywhere and in everything around her.

Malini Agrahar was a nymph who beautifully moved to the strains of raga and beats of the tala. She was happy to exhibit her caliber in a varnam and padam. Kalakshetra Rajaram’s Shankarabharanam raga based varnam “Dheenabandhu..” gave the prekshaka flashing anecdotes from the life and times of Lord Krishna. Kavikunja Bharathi’s Saaveri raga set padam meanders around the khandita nayika. The heroine feels the shift of loyalty of her beloved Lord Subramanya towards another or other women thus angering her to scheme to get him under her exclusive control.

Divya Devaguptapu

Malini Agrahar

Sajini N

The evening’s concluding segment was rendered by Sajini N.  The artiste chose a javali to start and tillana to end her recital. A nayika who forgot to keep her tryst to meet her beloved, now realizing her fault, tries to entice him back to her arms, was the subject matter of the Kamach raga set  Dharmapuri Venkatasubbaraya’s javali “Ye ra, ra ra.” The signature number of pure nritta and a   prayer to Lord Krishna was Vasanthi raga based tillana composed by Nagamani Srinath.

The fact that the house was full from the beginning to the conclusion was proof of the success of the Sai Nrityotsav series.