Neat solo recital by Malabika Sen
- Dr. Nita Vidyarthi, Kolkata

December 5, 2012

Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata presented a Bharatanatyam recital by Malabika Sen in its Horizon Series. A senior disciple of Guru Thankamani Kutty, Malabika is a seasoned dancer and a talented artiste, being the lead dancer of the Kalamandalam Kolkata Performing Wing. She has trained in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dance styles and has performed extensively at home and abroad and at all major dance festivals with sweeping success. It is not only style but a thorough understanding of the form and the sahitya used that makes her performances special. She uses her training in Hindustani classical vocal as an advantage in interpreting the music.

The evening began with the invocation Ganesha Stuti “Ananda Nartana Ganapati Bhavaye” in ragam Gambheera Natai and talam adi, followed by a couple of common padams composed on Lord Krishna. Her maturity in abhinaya was evident in the famous “Krishna Nee Begane Baro” by Vyasatirtha and Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer’s “Thaye Yasodha” in ragam Todi, talam adi. She has very graceful body inflections and her performances comprise of neat aramandis and sharp teermanams. So portrayal of the verses of Vallabacharya’s “Madhurashtakam” in Ragamalika, adi talam, in praise of the beauty of young Krishna had to be attractive. Her execution of adavaus and clarity of form and style was delightful in Jaydeva’s ‘Dasavataram’ set to Ragamalika and chaturasra eka talam as was her eye movements and facial expressions. With composition and nattuvangam by Guru Thankamani Kutty, the recital was impressive. Sukumar G. Kutty is a fine singer and gave able vocal support with nattuvangam by Mohan G. Kutty, mridangam by Mohan Raman, violin by Mohan Vaidya, veena by Rajesh Vaidya and flute by Patanjali.

Dr. Nita Vidyarthi is a critic of performing arts, specialising in dance, dance theatre and expressions and is a regular contributor to The Hindu, and the Statesman Kolkata in dance, vocal music and theatre. She is trained in Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Manipuri as well as vocal, semi-classical music and Rabindra Sangeet. A Science communicator, Ph.D. in Polymer Science, Commonwealth Scholar and a retired Professor of Chemistry, Nita devotes most of her time to dance and theatre writing.