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Vivacious performance by Chitra Dalvi
- Vijay Shanker

November 5, 2023

Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre presented the programme 'Bhakti Dwara Mukti' in the Bharatanatyam style by Chitra Dalvi Vartak, the disciple of renowned exponent Dr Sandhya Purecha, at the Cube auditorium on 16th September. Interpreting varied compositions by saint poets in different languages while reaching out to the Almighty, formed the highlight of the programme. The performance was executed with spontaneous and precise movements, besides the inherent quality of natural expressions.

Chitra Dalvi Vartak

She commenced the performance with the beautiful Tridev Kautuvam, incorporating the three goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Parvati, while paying salutations in praise of the feminine power and glory for health, wealth and prosperity. Chitra is undoubtedly a fine exponent who dances with effortless ease and complete involvement, seeking the attention of the rapt audience. The most elaborate number of the evening was a composition of Sarfoji Raje Bhonsle, the Marathi varnam in Ananda Bhairavi and Pancha Jathi tala patterns. The varnam describes the heroine as the prouda and kalahantarita nayika who is quite irritated and angry with her lord as he fails to turn up and her life is like the fish without water, suffering the pangs of separation. She prepares sandalwood paste, garland, and decorates the bed with flowers. She complains about his 'rati kreedas' with other gopis in the sancharis, and further says that he had planted a sapling but when the flowers started blooming, he would give the flowers to other gopis. He is restless like Lakshmi never resting in one place, as he is Hari, the husband of Lakshmi. It was a pleasure to watch Chitra interpreting the varied sancharis with fine mukhaja abhinaya creating a lasting impression.

Another intricate number that was presented was "Shankara Shri Giri" portraying the Sapta Tandava of Lord Shiva, like Sandhya, Uma, Gauri, Kalika, Tripura and Sanhara. Chitra succeeded in describing the multi facets and manifestations of the Lord as Mahadeva. Besides the execution of complex movements, the varied karanas too were well demonstrated. This number was in Hamsanandi ragam and talam adi. The grand finale number of the evening was the Dhanasri Thillana, a beautiful composition of Maharaja Swati Tirunal in praise of Lord Padmanabha. To watch Chitra dancing is always a pleasure as she dances with lot of enthusiasm and the vivacious quality underlines her performance.

Chitra is among the foremost disciples of Dr. Sandhya Purecha. Along with her mentor, she has performed for various prestigious occasions and has also enacted roles in the dance dramas choreographed by Purecha. Chitra is a bright star in the field of classical dance, who deserves to be seen more often in major festivals.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.

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