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Sprightly Bharatanatyam Margam by Apeksha Kamath
- Satish Suri

March 23, 2022

Apeksha Kamath

Apeksha Kamath, the teenage disciple of Indira Kadambi attested her credentials with a sprightly and vivacious Bharatanatyam performance at the Seva Sadan Auditorium, Bangalore. She began with an ode to Tripurasundari showcasing statuesque poses embodying the glory and magnificence of the Goddess. The Alarippu in misrachapu talam that followed, had the markings of good training and well-rehearsed execution.

Nritta Swaravalli, a composition of T.V.Gopalakrishnan, adapted to dance by Late Guru Narmada set in Mohana raga was an absorbing number. With a spring in her footsteps, the dancer artistically improvised the free flowing adavus and spatial movements of the choreography, using the stage space with zesty nritta, expressive and energetic body kinetics.

In a departure from the usual norm, a Devarnama was introduced. According to the information provided by Indira Kadambi, in the past, since a margam was a long drawn affair, a Devarnama was chosen to break the tedium and refresh the artiste before the varnam. The Devarnama chosen was a Purandaradasa composition "Kadegola tarenna chinnave" in Yaman Kalyan. Yashoda cajoles little Krishna to part with the butter churning stick. All her inducements - offering butter, sugar, or a new set of anklets to the playful Krishna - go in vain as he outwits her on every occasion. The vatsalya bhava and the delightful vignettes of the playful Krishna and the expressive elements added a special dimension to the evocative portrayal.

The varnam "Adi Shivane kaanave", the compositionof Dandayudhapani Pillai shows a nayika distressed at not being able to see her Lord Shiva."He is the eternal one, the divine confluence of the male and female. I am completely consumed by the sight of the Lord," says the nayika who pines with desire and longing to see Shiva. In the charanam, she throws all caution to the wind and says,"Why should I fear anyone, and it is no secret." The exposition by the artiste was a fine blend of nritta and abhinaya. The jathis carried a vibrant tone with Indira Kadambi on the nattuvangam, which resonated in the artiste's equally emphatic execution of the exacting rhythms eloquently woven with the underlying movements.

The Kshetrayya padam "Intiki raninchena" shows an angry khanditha nayika who says, "Do you think I will allow him into the house? Will I ever believe him after what he has done to me?" The emotive expressions and moods of the nayika were presented with impactful intensity syncing with the mood and tenor of the composition.

The javali "Itu sahasamulu" of Swati Tirunal defined a contrasting mood of a mugdha nayika,who is trying to ward off the advances and aggressive intent of the nayaka. "You reserve your deeds of love for a woman suitable to your delight, Oh Lord. Enough of your daring behaviour. I need more time before maturing into a love companion fit for you," pleads the nayika. The rendition by the dancer highlighted the emotions befitting the mood of the composition with conviction and finesse.

In a fitting finale, the exposition of tillana in Simhendramadhyama, a composition of Prof.C.V. Chandrasekhar, provided Apeksha with ample scope to showcase her ability. Elaborate in its execution, it had a fine sense of rhythm and footwork, amazing fluidity of movement and intensity, tempered with grace concluding with a prayer to Lord Muruga to come with his consorts and slay the demon. Brimming with confidence, a youthful countenance and unflagging energy from start to finish characterised the artiste's presentation, which augurs well for her future.

The aural landscape with Nandakumar Unnikrishnan scaling the heights with his soulful music: the vibrant tone of the nattuvangam by her acharya Indira Kadambi; the rhythmic scale and grace set on the mridangam by Lingaraju and the melodic strains of the violin by Aniruddha Nadig added flourish and embellished the proceedings.

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

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