- Jyothi Raghuram, Bangalore
November 17, 2012
Of delicate frame and excellent grooming, Vani Ganapathy is a picture of femininity, both on and off stage. Her alma mater, Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir of Guru Kalyanasundaram fame in Mumbai, has always stood out for its catchy solo numbers. Given this combination and Vani's own pursuit of Bharatanatyam as her professional identity, it was not surprising that her recital at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall recently was a slick affair.
This is not to take away from Vani's growth as a dancer vis a vis her abhinaya and her tweaking of dance compositions handed down to her. Elements of both these were seen in her abhinaya pieces "Jagadodhaarana" and "Indendu Vachithivira." A quiet dignity underlined her recital, which helped her reach out to the audience quite easily.
Both the vaatsalya bhaava in the Purandaradasa composition and the khandita nayika in the padam were not overdone. The exclusiveness lay in weaving a sort of a descriptive story into the lyrics, as distinct from sanchari bhavas. For instance, Purandaradasa was brought in as a characterization in the dasa pada. The portrayal of the khandita nayika was not cliched either. These lifted Vani's recital from the ordinary to the standard of what is expected of a seasoned performer, who brings in her interpretation and life experience into her dance.
Vani's enthusiasm was obvious. She remained unfazed when her energy levels dipped, and her footwork showed a lack of power. Yet it was remarkable that no adavu was left incomplete. Her hands too, as in the muktayas, could not keep pace at times. But she made sure that her nritta did not suffer on the whole, making her recital a particularly mature affair.
In the wings, vocalist Balasubramanya Sharma was not his usual self. His decibel level tended to be high at times, and he seemed oblivious of the dancer.
Jyothi Raghuram is a journalist with over two decades experience in both the print and electronic media, having worked with news organizations such as PTI, The Hindu and Indian Express. Her specialized writings on the performing and visual arts have been considered as benchmarks for their comprehensive and in-depth dealing of the subjects.