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A power packed margam by Aditi Saralaya
- Vinita Radhakrishnan

March 7, 2023

On 24th February, Aditi Saralaya, a talented and energetic disciple of Guru Minal Prabhu, performed a margam for Dr. M.D. Parthasarathy and Sushila Parthasarathy Memorial Programme, at the Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore. Her margam was primarily Krishna centric and she was a vision of grace in her blue costume, fitting to the theme of her margam.

Aditi Saralaya
Aditi commenced her performance with a traditional Mallari in raga Gambheera Nattai and adi tala. This energy intensive and complex choreography gave Aditi the perfect platform to portray her command over her art. Crisp movements, immaculate lines of the Kalakshetra style, complex jathis and her control and stamina made the execution of this piece remarkable.

The Mallari was followed by a Purandaradasa kriti "Gajavadana beduve," another beautiful choreography of her Guru set to raga Hamsadhwani and adi tala. Aditi presented this piece with her peppy and youthful energy. The innovative and musically catchy jathi at the beginning of the piece still remains fresh in my mind.

The kriti was followed by a varnam in Kannada, "Neela megha Shyama" in Ragamalika, set to adi tala. This varnam is a composition of G Gurumurthy and ingeniously tied to music by Balasubhramanya Sharma. While I personally enjoy watching traditional varnams which I can hum with over the non-traditional ones, this musically rich piece was an absolute delight to watch. The complex jathis which Aditi executed like a breeze were further enhanced by the beautiful rendition of Guru Minal Prabhu's nattuvangam. The varnam was also the first instance in the margam where Aditi got an opportunity to exhibit her subtle and effective abhinaya.

She then swiftly moved to her next piece "Neene anatha bandhu," another Purandaradasa kriti. This is another masterpiece from Guru Minal Prabhu's repertoire and wonderfully rendered by Balasubhramanya Sharma. Aditi's abhinaya when she enacted the game of dice, Draupadi's Vastraharana episode, and her depiction of Draupadi with a mix of arrogance, anger, disgust and helplessness were particularly effective. Her portrayal of Shakuni with his pure evil and cunning motives was an absolute treat to watch.

In the padam "Mogudochi" in Sahana, Aditi portrayed the mugdha abhisarika with ease and genuineness. There was something very pure in her abhinaya, in this piece especially. It was evident that Aditi had made this piece hers without being drawn to the temptation of imitating her guru or for that matter anyone else. It was impressive.

She concluded her margam with the famous Kalinga Narthana Thillana. While the choreography of Guru Minal Prabhu's version of this piece is easily one of the best I have seen so far, it is evidently very demanding with the need for energy, precision and balance. Aditi aced its execution and this piece was a fitting ending to her wonderful margam presentation.

Vinita Radhakrishnan
Bangalore based Bharatanatyam dancer Vinita Radhakrishnan has a Diploma from the Attakkalari Center for Movement Art with basic training in various contemporary dance techniques, Ballet, Kalari, Chhau and Deverattom. Professionally, she is a Patent Attorney and is currently working as a Senior Partner at BananaIP Counsels.

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