Bhadrachala Ramdas Charitamu
- Masoom Parmar

April 8, 2014

The second edition of Bhadrachala Ramadas Charitamu was presented on March 20 in Bangalore and featured six young male artistes. The program began with an age old tradition of Nagar Sankeertana which is now mostly absent from the public domain. Offering pooja at the Shri Rama Mandira and seeking blessings of the lord, the dancers, singers and audience carried Lord Rama’s idol to the venue of performance, singing bhajans and keertanas on the way. The showcase for the evening consisted of six dancers mentored by Sathyanarayana Raju. Taking us through the journey of devotee Ramadas’s life through his kritis was the presenter Usha RK.

Nagar Sankeertana

Chethan Gangatkar

Arun Sreenivasan

Madhu Chandra

Beginning with “Bhaje re Sri Ramam” and “Diname sudhinamu ra”, while Chethan Gangatkar held the audience captive with the bhakti in his expressions, his nritta left much desired. The adavus lacked the araimandi stance and they need to be polished upon. Arun Sreenivasan through “Yetu Potivo Rama” and “Yemira Rama” took the story of Ramadas ahead. Arun has a captivating stage presence and with more rigorous training and a toned and fitter body, he would definitely be a dancer to watch out for in the future.

These were followed by Madhu Chandra, one of Sathyanarayana Raju’s senior students. He presented “Ikshavuku kula tilaka” in which Ramadas enlists that for Rama's entire Ikshavuku clan he gifted wonderful jewels emeralds, corals, pearls etc worth hundreds and thousands of mohars yet he is not saving Ramadas. "Don’t get exasperated that I am listing all this. I am unable to bear the beating on my back. Did you not promise that you will protect all your bhaktas? Please relieve me too," Ramadas pleads. After all this reminding and requesting Ramadas says in a sarcastic manner, “Pahimam sri rama yenta palukavaithivi”(while I am bowing to Sri Rama, you are not responding) - Is this all your friendship is about? While I am falling at your feet and begging you seem to be rather preoccupied and not in a mood to listen. Madhu has imbibed the teachings of his guru to a large extent though he needs to work on maintaining the character in his body language and learn the art of switching between characters, something that his guru is very adept at.

Taking a break from the Bharatanatyam form, Avijit Das presented “Ram Jogi Mandu Konare” and “Ramachandralu Napai” in the Kuchipudi style. A student of Manju Bhargavee, Avijit’s prior Kalakshetra training reflects in his neat geometric lines and nritta. Manju Bhargavee’s choreography reflected her complete mastery over the Vempati Chinna Satyam bani of Kuchipudi. Avijit needs to pay a little more attention to the aharya aspect. He is definitely one of the rising stars of Kuchipudi.

The star of the evening was Srinivasan Rajendran. This young man from the Tandava group gets better and better with every performance which is a result of his performing for a longer time than the rest of the young dancers who are barely finding their moorings now. His subtle abhinaya tugs the corners of your heart. His understanding of the personality of the characters reflected through his abhinaya is an indication of his knowledge of mythology and observation of human nature.

Avijit Das

Srinivasan Rajendran

Yogeshkumar Somanna

Concluding the evening was Yogeshkumar Somanna. With “Ye tiruga nannu” popularized by Dr. Balamurali Krishna. Yogesh, a shishya of Sathyanarayana Raju, rendered the composition with sincerity, trying his best to do complete justice in expressing a devotee’s emotions on his wishes being granted. His expressive face and body language is note worthy. In the years to come with more experience on his side he will certainly be in the list of good dancers in Bangalore. The evening concluded with "Takuvemi mana ku" which was performed by all the six youngsters describing some of the incarnations of Maha Vishnu.

The evening’s performances were heightened by Vasudha (vocals), Shakuntala Prabha (nattuvangam), Balu (mridangam) and Raghunandan (flute).

Masoom Parmar is an Art Manager at Nritarutya, a dancer and a physiotherapist.