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Saranagati: The Art of Surrender
- Satish Suri
Photos: Kim Aham

March 4, 2020

Kim Aham school of dance of Kuchipudi dancer Avijit Das presented 'Saranagati: The Art of Surrender' on January 11, 2020 featuring Kuchipudi by Deepika Reddy, Odissi by Kevin Bachan, Bharatanatyam by Sathyanarayana Raju, and Mohiniattam by Ayswaria Wariar. The dancers demonstrated what Saranagati means to them and explored the various emotions connected with the story they depicted.

Deepika Reddy opened the proceedings with a fine display of Ganesha Vandana. The brisk rendition portraying the attributes of Ganesha qualified by aesthetic adaptation complimented her presentation. The Pravesa Daru that followed showcased the anguish of Rukmini, the beloved of Krishna.The imagery used by the artiste to describes the pangs of separation and the experiences of Rukmini was innovative, highlighted by flawless precision in rhythm, movement and footwork. She concluded with an anecdotal description of Krishna and his many leelas incorporating the traditional Tarangam of the Kuchipudi repertoire embellished with well-executed footwork and abhinaya, that was well received by the audience.

Deepika Reddy

Vinod Kevin Bachan

Vinod Kevin Bachan established his credentials and competence as an Odissi dancer. Exploring a Bhairavi Pallavi under the watchful eyes of his guru Ranjana Gauhar, the guest of honour for the day, Kevin interpreted the rhythmic cycles in time and space, the contextual nuances of the composition with flair and aplomb as the tempo was scaled up to its perfect end. He concluded with Ardhanareeswara, capturing in its entirety the intrinsic duality of the cosmic lord Shiva, with evocative expressions of the male and female principle and the intrinsic oneness. It was an impressive expression of the bhavas of lasya and tandava and exquisite stances.

Ayswaria Wariar brought to life the compositions of Kavalam Narayana Panicker in her Mohiniattam performance. Describing the five elements that constitute the adornment of the two avatars Shiva and Vishnu, through the choreography that detailed the physical, mystical and spiritual aspects, the piece was absorbing and engrossing. She followed it with "Maya Mohanam" which dramatised many facets of Krishna's life. Several sancharis showcasing the game of dice, Krishna breaking the pots of the milkmaids, saving the honour of Draupadi, relief to Gajendra, and the final upadesa to Arjuna were encapsulated in the framework of her portrayal.

Ayswaria Wariar

Satyanarayana Raju

The Bharatanatyam performance by Satyanarayana Raju provided a fitting finale with a sterling performance. The Varnam "Shri Krishna Kamala Natho", a composition of Raghavendra with verses taken from Krishna Karnamrutham and set to music by Tirumale Srinivas, had the artiste in full flow, permeated by grace and artistry that described the many exploits of Lord Krishna from his birth to the final exposition of his Viswaroopa, the surrender of Arjuna to Krishna's command and the final call "Sambhavami Yuge Yuge" to restore dharma.The visual frames marked by excellent choreography of Guru Narmada had richness and maturity creating the emotional and aesthetic impact. The sancharis highlighting Krishna's birth, lifting of Govardanagiri, the Poothana episode, Kaliya episode, the rescue of Draupadi, the Jala Kreeda, were interpreted with fluidity of motion and deft improvisations on stage had both finesse and expertise.

The depiction of Shabari in the piece that followed as she offers berries to Lord Rama was expressive. The physical posture of an old lady, tasting the berries in order to gauge their worthiness and offering them to Rama and bending forward to touch his feet were all captured with a sense of vividness. Marked by the gesture of humility and adoration, it was a poignant revelation by the artiste. He concluded with a graceful Thillana, a composition of Dr.Shatavadhani Ganesh.

The orchestra with Deepthi Srinath (vocal), Raghunandan Ramakrishna (flute), Chaitra Jagadeesh (nattuvangam), and Balakrishna S.V. (mridangam) added verve to the artiste's presentation.

Bangalore based Satish Suri is an avid dance rasika besides being a life member of the Music and Arts Society.

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