Elegant Kuchipudi duo
- Vijay Shanker, Mumbai
e-mail: vijaydance@gmail.com

December 26, 2012

On the occasion of the International Deep Drawing Design Group Conference, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Mumbai, presented a Kuchipudi performance by accomplished dancer Dr. Sailaja Desai and her daughter and disciple Sinduja on 28th November as part of the three day conference at the campus premises. It was sheer delight to watch the duo perform with uniformity creating fine harmony and synchronization between varied intricate rhythmic patterns.

Founder of the Nrutya Kinnera Dance Academy where she trains several aspirants Dr. Sailaja Desai has several performances to her credit. Sailaja’s talented daughter Sinduja recently performed her Ranga Pravesham in Mumbai successfully. The duo commenced the performance with Sabha Vandanam wherein the dancers pay homage to the presiding deities and offer salutations to the audience, to the mentors and the eight directions for a successful performance. The next number Prahlada Pattabhishekam Sabdam in Ragamalika and Misrachapu talam vividly describes the devotion of the teenage boy Prahlada for Lord Narayana that angers his asura father Hiranyakashipu who is ultimately killed by the Narasimha avatara of Lord Vishnu. With her beautiful and expressive eyes, Sinduja did complete justice to the dramatic presentation of the characters of  Prahlada, the asura father and the incarnation of half lion and half man. While Sinduja is at ease with expressions, a little more concern towards the finesse of different movements would bring more lustre to the entire performance.

Sailaja Desai scored well in the popular number "Krishna nee begane baro" wherein the dancer describes the inter relationship between mother Yasoda and little Krishna. With years of experience as an exponent, the vatsalya bhava was innate and came forth quite naturally with the underlying touch of satvika to complete the presentation which displayed little Krishna’s pranks like stealing butter and eating mud and the ultimate Viswaroopa darshanam wherein mother Yasoda is astounded to see the entire universe in the mouth of the divine little Krishna.

The program concluded with the interpretation of the Annamacharya Kirtana "Chakkani Tallika" that portrays Alamelu Manga, wife of Lord Balaji. While comparisons are inevitable, it will always be a pleasure to watch the mother-daughter duo. Moreover, both of them are blessed with striking personalities which is always a blessing when it comes to the performing arts. The duo received fine orchestral support with a well knit team and the performance created a fine impact on the packed audience. 

Vijay Shankar is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, choreographer, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.