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A relishable rendition by veteran performer
- Syed Sallauddin Pasha

August 8, 2019

The audience at Kalasindhu Dance Studio in Banashankari on August 3, 2019 experienced a great carnival of Mysore style of Bharatanatyam by D. Keshava. His lecture demonstration was filled with renowned dancers, scholars and film makers such as Poornima Gururaja, Mala Shashikant, Padmini Shreedhar, Seshadri Iyenger, Nanda Kishore, Suma Krishnamurthy, Dr. Vidya Rao, Anil Kumar, Shri Hari and many young students from Kalasindhu.

D. Keshava is an authority on Mysore style of Bharatanatyam, who was trained in dance, music and acting from Mysore University during 1969 and 1975. He is the first male dancer in Karnataka to receive the title Natyavisharada. He was fortunate to become the senior most disciple of Dr K. Venkatalakshamma, the last representative of the famous temple dancing dynasty in the State of Karnataka. With a sheer passion to spread the fragrance of Bharatanatyam far and wide, D. Keshava, with his Swiss wife Esther founded 'Kalasri' in Basel, Switzerland in 1976. This is the greatest contribution of the couple to the Mysore style of Bharatanatyam.

Keshava's recent performance consisted of deep insightful demonstrations of Mysore style of various adavus with a knowledgeable information on how to balance body for each adavu followed by Jathiswaram in ragam Kalyani set to roopaka talam was commendable. Shloka 'Mathaha Kim' from Krishna Karnaamrutham and his presentation of abhinaya items, Shabdam 'Sarasijakshulu', Javali 'Matadabaradeno', and 'Pokiri Tanamulu' showed excellence in his abhinaya. He also demonstrated a short Padam 'Vaadu alagite' and the highlight of the evening was Mysore Vasudevacharya's 'Premathonato Mathadava' which was very unusual for a male dancer presenting Javali, where the nayaka longs for the nayaki. One can never forget the instant reactions from the students and audience for his performance of 'Premathonato Mathadava'. Everyone was moved by the love and affection between nayika and nayaki, Keshava beautifully establishing the sthayi bhava.

During the demonstration, Keshava received plenty of queries from the student community which were answered and substantiated with resourceful answers. The event witnessed the screening of a documentary on Dr. K. Venkatalakshamma.

At the age of 74, Keshava gave a dynamic performance full of energy, passion and perfection. His nritta, aramandi and angashuddhi are lessons for youngsters. In the end, Keshava said, "Since there are a lot of youngsters who want to learn the rare compositions of Mysore style, I will be back soon with series of workshops in couple of cities in India in the coming year."

Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancer Syed Sallauddin Pasha is internationally recognized for his therapeutic wheelchair dance theatre productions for differently abled. Pasha received National Award from President of India for his three decades of empowering persons with special needs. He trains innovative wheelchair Bharatanatyam to differently-abled at his dance studio 'Ability Unlimited'.

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