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Beauty of the vilamba kala abhinaya highlighted
- Dr. M. Surya Prasad

April 5, 2024

Young dancer Deeksha Kumar, who is making her forays as a performer, shone forth in a short but remarkable Bharatanatyam performance. It is admirable that she made full use of the opportunity she got to exhibit her art and talent in front of highly knowledgeable Sugnanis under the auspices of the Mysore Mulakanadu Mahasabha on the occasion of Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana.

Deeksha Kumar

Her composure and lively stage presence were unusual and she showed mature acting skills naturally, choosing exclusively Thyagaraja's krithis befitting the occasion with a gentle and restrained approach to dance. And absolutely it was apt that abhinaya was the key word of the entire performance.

Interestingly, she had chosen vilamba kala (slow pace) Thyagaraja compositions, once again demonstrating her skillful talents most positively. It is not easy to enact slow paced krithis. Each word of the selected work's lyrics needs to be meaningfully portrayed with nuances while maintaining the slow pace of the rhythm. That is, there is a need for rhythmic rigor and sound knowledge of the text of the song. The nuances of the bhava have got to be translated into meaningful abhinaya.

Deeksha Kumar rendered "Shriganapatini sevimparare" (Saurashtra raga) with concentration and passion. Her challenging choreography came to the fore. Thyagaraja has showered praises on his favorite Lord Sri Rama in his Kambhoji raga krithi "Sri Raghuvar apramayam." Rightly too, Deeksha's abhinaya was sober and thoughtful. Shringara and bhakti rasas were neatly expressed with all the necessary details. The facial expressions, narrative style and dance seen throughout her translation of the theme into an effective imagery were of a high order. By introducing interesting and rhythmically taut bits of nritta here and there, she could break the possible intrusion of monotony. It was a good idea indeed!! The pre-recorded music support was well handled which enriched the success of the short recital. Overall, the quality of her dancing, choreography and performances were solid.

Dr. M. Surya Prasad
The writer is a music and dance scholar, thinker, critic and columnist of Bengaluru.

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