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Kamini-the emotional diva
- G Ulaganathan

February 27, 2022

Kavya Kasinathan, the young disciple of the well-known Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher Mithun Shyam, presented an interesting solo dance item 'Kamini - the disarming damsel' on February 20 in Bangalore. Mainly focusing on the nayaka - nayika bhavas, she exhibited her mastery over Bharatanatyam which she has been learning from Mithun for nearly 8 years now.

Kavya Kasinathan

In this presentation, Kamini explored the emotional aspects of nritta and how the body can be the carrier of each of these intense emotions. In the space of about two hours with songs taken from Telugu, Tamil and Kannada she depicted many roles--the Goddess, Apsaras, Rajanarthakis, and so on. She showed how they have all been instruments of immense spiritual, emotional, social and economic growth in our society. Kamini was an attempt to portray the immense power of the feminine form.

Kavya's face became a kaleidoscope of emotions in a nayika - her strengths, vulnerability, extremities and subtleties and she captured them with ease through nritta and abhinaya. The jatis were marked by beautiful adavus throughout. Kamini was born and seen through the poetry of legendary composers such as Ponnaiah Pillai, Subramanya Iyer, Purandara Dasa, Veena Seshanna and Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.

She commenced the performance with the Athana composition "Sri Maha Ganpatim," a composition of Wodeyar. She was able to execute the beautiful adavus and used the space and the long duration with confidence. A good dancer should use the stage imaginatively and Kavya has mastered it and did not get stuck in one place. Mithun, who conducted the show and did the nattuvangam, ensured that this was the only piece which had bhakti rasa. All the other items were based on sringara. Incidentally Mithun is the disciple of Padmini Ramachandran who learnt the art from the doyen Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. Kavya lived up to the lineage.

Balasubrahmanya Sharma, who rendered the songs in multiple languages without any hiccups, Bhavani Shankar on the mridangam, Gopal Venkataramana on the veena and Mahesh Swamy on the flute, were the perfect icing on the cake .

G Ulaganathan
G Ulaganathan is a senior dance critic based in Bangalore.

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